Clos des Lunes, Lune d’Argent, Bordeaux Blanc, 2018

By Dirk Smits

Wine of the Week – August 10, 2020

Sauternes is one of the greatest terroirs for white wine in France. Although most wine made there is sweet, there is a small quantity of dry white wines produced as well. World-famous Château d’Yquem produces a dry white wine called “Y” d’Yquem. Sauternes wines can be produced from vineyards spread over the following villages: Sauternes, Bommes, Barsac, Fargues and Preignac. Dry white wines made from grapes coming from these villages cannot have the Sauternes appellation and have to carry the appellation “Bordeaux Blanc” to keep a distinction between the sweet and dry wines from that area.

Radiating on this exceptional terroir, Clos des Lunes watches over a vineyard of 173 acres, spread over three complementary terroirs. The Sauternes soils, made up of deep, well-drained gravel with underground springs, are a guarantee of power in the wines. The gravelly soils on top of a layer of clay-limestone of Bommes bring freshness while the red clay-gravel soils of Barsac are the origin of wines endowed with great elegance and finesse.

Produced and owned since 2011 by the celebrated Domaine de Chevalier from Pessac-Léognan, this dry white wine is made of 70% Sémillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc and aged in oak barrels for about eight months. From the vineyard to the cellar, there is extreme attention paid to capturing the most beautiful essence of the terroir in the wines. This results in a wine with a very fruitful expression in its youth and with aging showing more complexity and density.

Origin: Bordeaux, France
Varietals: 70% Sémillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc
Sustainability: sustainable practices, wine is kosher
Suggested retail price: $21.99
ABV: 13%

The wine is bright yellow in color with light green reflections. The nose is very expressive and aromatic, showing ripe lemon, honeydew, pear and stone fruits as well as hints of fresh jasmine.

The taste is medium-bodied with some viscosity typical of Sémillon yet lively and crisp on the palate. There are notes of fresh lemon zest, pear, yellow plum, sweet melon, subtle hints of basil, nice tension on the mid palate, lively acidity, with great saline and earthy minerals as well as touches of fresh almonds and cashew on the long and elegant finish. Perfectly balanced and drinking beautifully now but has the structure to hold and evolve nicely over the next few years.

Suggested food pairings: arugula salad with lemon and Parmesan, asparagus risotto, pasta with basil pesto, yellowtail sushi with avocado, fish with beurre blanc.

> Read about Sémillon Grape Varietal Definition.