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Two from Thieuley

Two wines tasted here, from Château Thieuley. I visited this estate some time back, perhaps six years ago now, but never got around to writing it up, which was remiss of me. The property is a source of good value Bordeaux, which – as I keep reminding myself – really does exist. As is often the case, however, at this level, on these soils, the white wines often outclass the red. Hence my preference for the whites here, from two recent vintages.

It was impressive to see a wine at this price point (about 10 Euros I think – both were bought in France) bottled under DIAM taint-free cork. The Thieuley team – once headed up by Francis Courselle but his daughters Sylvie and Marie now hold the reins I believe – obviously mean business.

The 2010 went really well with some pan-fried salmon and home-made hollandaise I whipped up (I found eggs and butter in the fridge….how could I resist?) when in Bordeaux the week before last (was it that long ago already – how time flies). The 2008 did a similarly good job with some half-barbecued-half-steamed cod with chilli flakes at the poolside. You get the idea. Bordeaux works very well with fish; you just need to make sure its the right colour (the wine obviously – the fish can be any colour you fancy).

Château Thieuley Blanc (Bordeaux) 2010: Bottled under DIAM. A very pale hue in the glass. The nose is very much dominated by Sauvignon Blanc, which brings a fairly grassy element to the aromatics, along with slightly richer, sweeter notes of white grape and melon. Some of these latter characteristics must surely be Semillon related though. There’s also a slightly smoky, sandy feel to it that I rather like. The palate is gently fleshy, but with good firm, dry and savoury grip giving it shape and substance in the mouth, and showing a lot of bite without seguing into greenness towards the finish. A very attractive wine, with plenty of pithy bite to it, showing all the character and punch of the 2010 vintage. Long and gently spicy finish. 16.5/20 (October 2012)

Château Thieuley Blanc (Bordeaux) 2008: Bottled under conventional cork. A blend of equal parts Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from vines grown on gravelly-clay soils, fermented in stainless steel, with temperature control. The nose here is fresh with bright fruit, the aromatic character currently dominated by the Sauvignon Blanc, with something of a stony-steely edge to it. As the nose suggests it has a very clean style on the palate, fresh albeit with a supple weight, and also a rather green and herbaceous edge to the fruit. Not unattractive, although surpassed by more recent vintages I think. 15/20 (July 2012)

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