There are two special reasons why I have a soft spot for Château Turcaud. The first is that Turcaud is the subject of the very first château profile on my new blog in September 2014.
The other, and more important, is that I have long enjoyed Turcaud’s white wines, which I see as the epitome of solid, dependable, good-value Bordeaux blanc. So, it was a treat to visit the estate in July 2014 with a friend who makes wine in Valais, Switzerland.
We were warmly welcomed by Stéphane and Isabelle Le May, and Isabelle’s father, Maurice Robert who created the estate in 1973.
The 50 hectares of vineyards are located in the commune of La Sauve Majeure in the Entre Deux Mers region, about 30 k from Bordeaux. I might add that the town’s abbey has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO – http://la-sauve-majeure.monuments-nationaux.fr/fr/
Furthermore, the Maison des Vins de L’Entre-Deux-Mers is also located in La Sauve http://www.entredeuxmers.com/gastronomie/viticulteurs/maison-des-vins-de-lentre-deux-mers.html
This is in the heart of the “other” Bordeaux that produces affordable, delicious, everyday wines, some of which are very good indeed. However, the region is rarely visited by tourists – despite the beautiful rolling countryside and noteworthy historic monuments – http://www.entredeuxmers.com/patrimoine/abbayes-et-moulins.html
(Click to enlarge photos)
The Turcaud Entre-Deux-Mers is made from 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 38% Sémillon, and 2% Muscadelle. The grapes undergo skin contact and are fermented and aged on the lees. I tasted the 2013 and 2012 and was particularly taken with the former, and was not really surprised to see that it had won a gold medal at the Paris Agricultural Show. This is all that Bordeaux Blanc should be but, alas, is all too rarely… Without meaning to detract from the wine’s quality, I can safely say that this is a vibrant, fruity, upfront quaffing wine to drink in its youth. An uncomplicated, thirst-quenching, pure pleasure of a wine. Price: at the estate : 5.4 euros.
The prestige cuvée is called La Cuvée Majeure. It consists of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sémillon from the more gravelly part of the vineyard. This is a more serious, ageworthy wine.
Although Turcaud produces twice as much white wine as red, I was smitten with the 2012 Cuvée Majeure rouge, a definite cut above the regular red wine. This Bordeaux Supérieur is made from 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. This very round, attractive wine with seemingly low acidity has good tannin, and medium-term ageing potential. At 8.50 euros a bottle (cellar door price) you cannot go wrong. This is just the sort of wine to enjoy young, decant a couple of hours before the meal, and enjoy immensely. You might even try serving it blind to your wineloving friends and see what they think…