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Dourthe (France) No 1 Sauvignon Blanc 2004
I tasted four different French Sauvignon, or Sauvignon-based, whites around the 5.00 mark this week, and the Dourthe was a clear winner (with Nathalie & Co's Sauvignon/Chardonnay from the Co-op in second place). Dourthe are one of the big negociants to have legitimised branded Bordeaux in the past few years, with consistent and very good value wines, just like this one. Bottled in a screwcap, it has a beautifully judged character, with zippy, zingy freshness on the nose, but backed by a oatmeally richness and sense of more tropical ripeness, all in a flood of limpid pear and gooseberry fruit. On the palate there is a hint of sweetness, but that is all fruit and toffee-edged, unctuous ripeness, with a long, cool core of lemon and slightly tart, gooseberry and grapefruit acidity that sharpens the picture into a long, lip-smacking finish. A delicious wine suitable as an aperitif, or with lighter creamy or Pesto-sauced pastas, fish and chicken dishes. Waitrose 5.99, Thresher 6.99 but on three for two.