September 19, 2008

Wine 101 - Ee is for Entre-Deux-Mers

g_bor_map.gifLiterally translated, entre-deux-mers means between two oceans or seas. And in lovely, scenic Bordeaux this identifies the appellation situated between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers. There are 37 appellations in Bordeaux, all of which are situated along the Dordogne, the Garonne and the Gironde which flows from the Atlantic ocean and splits to form the other two. On the map above, entre-deux-mers is represented by the large green area in the middle of Bordeaux.

I'm not sure I could clearly explain Bordeaux in one little post so I'm going to send you on a jump, to Wiki land. The Wiki page offers the clearest, most thorough condensation (I've found) of the region as well as a handy numbered map for reference. It also clearly defines terminology associated with Bordeaux wines (ie. Left bank, Right Bank, Graves etc).

Back to the task at hand... Wine from the entre-deux mers appellation can be red, however the reds are fairly nondescript compared to its haughty left bank/right bank kin. Most often when you see entre-deux-mers on a label, it is on a white. Typically, they are sauvignon blanc based and blended with semillon, muscadelle and occasionally, ugni blanc. Vivacious and dry, they can run the gamut from stark and simple to lovely and layered, depending on on the blend, of course.

Start investigating the wines available in your area and buy 2007 vintages whenever possible... Or if you need a few suggestions, check these out:

etiq_23.jpgChateau Bonnet Entre-Deux-Mers 2006
50% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon, 10% Muscadelle
The higher proportion of sauvignon blanc in this blend provides a crisp, acidic backbone. While the sturdy dose of semillon softens the edges with ripe tropical fruit notes.


La Foret Blanc Entre-Deux-Mers 2006 $12
40% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Muscadelle, 20% Sémillon
Much softer than the Bonnet, the La Foret benefits from an equal split of sauvignon blanc and muscadelle. The latter providing lovely aromatics and playful, almost floral notes. Not to be forgotten, the semillon provides a little depth and richness.
Bordeaux map via Great Wine Capitals

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Posted by Noël Wallace at September 19, 2008 7:55 AM
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