2016 Chateau Clos des Lunes Lune d’Argent Bordeaux Blanc
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $16.94 (reg. $19.94)
Sauternes, best known for its decadent sweet wines, has emerged as an unlikely hot-spot for dry white Bordeaux. Many of Sauternes’ top châteaux produce dry wines in addition to their Grand Vins, Yquem’s Ygrec the most prominent example. Vinous says “it makes sense for the Sauternes estates to produce dry white wines...since they cannot always count on making a world-class sweet wine; as much depends on the presence of noble rot”.
One high-profile Bordeaux producer has taken things even further, eschewing sweet wines all together. Olivier Bernard already makes one of the world’s best dry whites at Domaine de Chevalier, and he’s making serious noise in Sauternes. Clos des Lunes is a Sauternes estate that Bernard has dedicated entirely to the production of dry white wines. Lune d’Argent 2016 is a value-driven cuvée from the estate, and we’ve got it at well under $20 a bottle.
Monsieur Bernard will need no introduction for seasoned Bordeaux buyers. Domaine de Chevalier aside, he also serves as President of the Union de Grands Crus de Bordeaux. His family have been involved in Bordeaux wine for centuries, and all that savoir-faire has been put to great use at Clos des Lunes. The property lies not far from Yquem and Rayne Vigneau, prime terroir for top quality white varietals. Bernard says that “all great sweet wines come from vines from which dry wines are also made”, and that’s what he’s doing here: There’s not a botrytized berry in sight for this blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc.
The appeal of Lune d’Argent is clear: Production is low, quality is high, and prices are seriously modest. It represents real value vis-à-vis other dry whites from Bernard’s stable, not to mention from neighboring estates. The 2016 vintage for Clos des Lunes’ top cuvée, Lune d’Or, will cost you around $40. That year’s Domaine de Chevalier can run you $100. Ygrec can tip $160. By contrast, we’ve got Lune d’Argent at just $16.94, making it a shrewd buy indeed.
So, that’s quality dry white Bordeaux from the owner of Domaine de Chevalier and a vineyard neighboring Yquem – for well under $20 a bottle. Snap this up while you can!