Bordeaux White Wines

Image showing different flavours of Bordeaux white wines.

The area between the 2 major rivers of Bordeaux, the Garonne and Dordogne, is called Entre-Deux-Mers.
This area produces both red (predominantly Merlot) and white wines but is more well-known for its white wines, often a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and sometimes the rare Muscadelle. There are a few other less-known varieties used in White Bordeaux such as Colombard and Ugni Blanc (the grape used in Cognac), but most White Bordeaux are made of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The dry Entre-Deux-Mers wines have grapefruit and citrus notes with a zippy acidity perfect for the summer or fish, whilst the wines from Pessac-Leognan are creamy and lemon curd-like.
Bordeaux white wines may only account for less than 10% of Bordeaux wine production, but they are very famous, especially for the rich golden-hued sweet dessert white wine called Sauternes.
Sauternes and its surrounding regions of Barsac, Cadillac, etc are along a particularly dank portion of the Garonne River. Morning fog causes the white grapes growing in the area to develop a certain type of fungus called Botrytis. The fungus causes the grapes to shrivel and sweeten making one of the sweetest white wines in the world.
The most readily available style of White Bordeaux is the light and fruity style from Entre-Deux-Mers. You can expect big flavours and aromas of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry and lime along with grass, freshly-wet concrete, honey, passionfruit and honeysuckle flower.
The rich and creamy wines from Pessac-Leongnan are the most highly sought-after style of White Bordeaux. These wines tend to be predominantly Semillon which offers a much richer, more oily feeling on the tongue than Sauvignon Blanc. Expect flavours of baked apples and pears, crème brûlée, carmelized grapefruit, orange zest, ginger, figs, lemon butter and even chamomile.