Not a wine we typically offer every year, but 2019 is one of the best vintages of all time for Chateau Carbonnieux's Blanc Cuvee. One of the Grand Cru Classe de Graves addresses in Pessac Leognan, the origins of the Chateau's vineyards date back to 1234 in the Middle Ages when religious communities controlled much of the vineyards in Bordeaux. After the 100-year war that ended in 1453. Short on money, the Monks sold the Carbonnieux land to Jean de Ferron, who was the head of a powerful Bordelais family, before getting into debt and selling it back to the Benedictine monks of Sainte-Croix abbey. The monks borrowed money to elevate the estate to one of the best at the time and were one of the first estates in Bordeaux to blend two varieties of grapes for the final bottling. Thomas Jefferson also visited the estate in 1786, planting a tree in the Chateau Park which still stands to this very day.
After WWII, Bordeaux was decimated and was at a low the region had never experienced before when, in 1956, Marc Perrin picked it up. He and his son started a replanting campaign while expanding the estate to its current 95-hectare size.
Today the estate still belongs to the Perrin family, with the grandchildren of Marc Perrin, Eric, Christine, and Philibert running the show as a trio, along with a few of their children who are now helping with winemaking and sales.
The Chateau Carbonnieux is a legendary wine made with Sauvignon Blanc (65%) and Semillon (35%). Legend has it that it was given to the Sultan of Constantinople. Because of its clarity and minerality, it was considered the "Mineral Water of Carbonnieux," thus defying Islamic law and allowing for its consumption.
Pessac Leognan produces some of the best dry white wines in Bordeaux with clay-limestone soils with Garonne gravel. When young, Carbonnieux white wines are delightfully refreshing and pure with a fruity, floral intensity. When mature, they develop hints of dried and candied fruits giving scope for an extensive range of gastronomic pairings. The chosen Semillon grapes add structure to the Sauvignon grapes' liveliness by giving them roundness and volume on the palate.
As mentioned, the 2019 vintage here is a standout and is deemed remarkable by the Chateau; aromatic and powerful with a dense mid-palate and long elegant finish amplified by fresh acidity. It is a delightful bottle and at pricing that allows anyone to enjoy it. Two nice notes below, this is a standout White Bordeaux this vintage and worth checking out for fans of dry mineral-driven white wines.
James Suckling 93-94 points! "A dense, tight red with creamy texture and dried-pear and apple character. It’s full-bodied, focused and intense. Serious effort. One of the best whites from here."
Antonio Galloni 92 points! "The 2019 Carbonnieux Blanc is distinctive and classy. Crushed rocks, lemon peel, flowers and white pepper all give the 2019 a good deal of aromatic lift. A touch of reduction adds character while allowing the wine's natural depth and structure to come through nicely. Hints of slate, pear and mint linger nicely."