Produced in Entre-Deux-Mers ("between two seas"), a picturesque region of Bordeaux sandwiched between the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, this zesty Bordeaux blanc from the highly regarded 2010 vintage is a perfect all around summer white. Although most Entre-Deux-Mers is dominated by the assertive Sauvignon Blanc grape variety, Château Martinon's conscientious owner, Jerome Trolliet, favors Sémillon, using it for more than 60% of the blend, with Sauvignon Blanc (30%) and Muscadelle (10%) making up the rest. The emphasis on Sémillon yields a wine that is considerably more rich and savory than most Bordeaux Blanc. The floral and mineral scented 2010 Château Martinon offers juicy lemon, citrus, and marmalade fruit, which makes it an ideal accompaniment to oysters (the classic match), fish, grilled poultry, and light meats. It is also a great choice to sip all by itself, with the sea breezes blowing.
In the glass, this wine has a classic Chardonnay hue of pale golden straw. The bouquet draws you in with delicate nuances of wet stones, lichee, white peach, orange blossoms, and a slight hint of toasted almonds. The palate is soft and fleshy and loaded with bright citrus tones of sweet mandarin and Meyer lemon, white nectarine and rich tropical notes of guava, pineapple, and lichee â€“ all complemented by subtle sweet oak. There is a delicate smoothness to this Chardonnay and fantastic weight throughout. This is the wine youâ€™ll want to bring to the next big dinner party or business lunchâ€“ get ready to accept the kudos.
Although the more familiar examples of Vermentino come from northern Italy (particularly Liguria) and the island of Sardinia, the grape variety is also found in France, where it is usually referred to as Rolle. Château Pigoudet, located in the north of the “Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence” appellation, has done something quite innovative here, blending the plump, floral Vermentino (85%) with the bright, steely Sauvignon Blanc (15%), to create a light, cool, sophisticated wine that's as airily refreshing as a Mediterranean breeze. Brilliant pale yellow in color, this offers fresh, floral flavors and aromas of peach, almond and Provençal herbs, with notes of white grape jam hovering in the background.
Wonderful, evocative orange marmalade and ginger flavors play around this rich wine. Its botrytis dryness doesn't detract from the intense sweetness, ripe apricots, spice and deliciously refreshing acidity. The richness is in the texture, but the ripeness is in the open, generous fruit.