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Senior editor James Suckling joined Wine Spectator in 1981 and retired in 2010. As European bureau chief, he was based in Tuscany and tasted the wines of Italy, Bordeaux and Port.
James Suckling

A Bordeaux White that Saves a Bland Meal

Domaine de la Solitude Pessac-Léognan White 2005

James Suckling
Posted: July 13, 2009

A few weeks ago in Bordeaux during the huge Vinexpo wine-trade fair, I went to dinner with executive editor Thomas Matthews and his wife, Sara, at the downtown restaurant Chez Greg. I had heard a lot about Greg, and I fondly remember it when it was on the quays, where it served simple food with good wines. Unfortunately, that was a long time ago. This time we had bad service and bland international food that reminded me of stuff served on the Côte d'Azur in overpriced beach clubs. Don't get me started!

Anyway, we ordered a delicious white wine that saved the evening: the 2005 Domaine de la Solitude Pessac-Léognan White. I have tasted several vintages of this wine over the years, and I have always enjoyed it, although I had not rated this particular year. The wine comes from an estate under the same management as the legendary Domaine de Chevalier; Olivier Bernard manages the properties for a local religious order.

A blend of 60 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 40 percent Sémillon, the 2005 was rich and delicious, with loads of cream, apple pie and lemon character. The wine is full and satisfying with a tropical fruit finish. I like the wine now that it's had a few years of bottle age. And it even goes with bad beach food!

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated white Bordeaux, plus our quick lists of Top Values and Easy Finds among French whites.

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