Our third comparison of whites from Bordeaux was a difficult one to rate, because almost all the entries were enjoyable, featuring solid citrus flavors paired with bright acidity. While our winner was by far the favorite, all bottles received some points, and most provided a lot of pleasure for not a ton of money. In fact, our winner was also the best value of the night at only $13, having excellent concentration and verve, and the second-place finisher was only $12.
Two entries turned out to be the same bottling, just separated by a vintage (2019 v. 2020), with the older bottle showing some off aromas (perhaps a bit damaged by light strike?), putting it ahead of the younger, fresher version.
First Place: Château Nicot Entre Deux Mers 2020. Very perfumed, suggesting flowers, fresh yogurt, key lime pie, blood orange, barbecue spice rub, and lime peel. Tasters found a lot of ripe orange flavors, not unlike citrus oil, and had the most weight, plus a longer finish. Plenty of acidity, but also smooth across the palate. Andy, Kristin, David, and Cathy's favorite of the night, with a total of 32 points. Cathy's bottle. About $13.
Second Place: Château de Beauregard Ducourt Entre Deux Mers 2019. Made from 64% Sauvignon Blanc and 36% Sémillon, and very clear in the glass, showing aromas of green apple, ripe citrus, honey, mango, bubble gum, and passion fruit. Some cinnamon notes emerged with air. Being overtly fruity, Andy suggested that he would "put it on a hat and wear it around". Had a little tang to it in the mouth, with bright acidity, and flavors of lemon zest, pineapple, wet rock, white mushrooms, and aluminum. Had a saline quality on the somewhat shorter finish. Ali and Mark's favorite, with a total of 24 points. Mark's bottle. About $12.
Third Place (tie): Château Sainte Marie Réserve Entre Deux Mers 2018. Hints of something synthetic (like rubber), but otherwise showed scents of citrus, green banana peel, vanilla, green bell pepper, and unripe fruit. Almost creamy in texture, having flavors of tropical fruit, Pez candy, honeydew melon, and Kool-Aid mix. Finishes quickly. Received 9 points. David's bottle. About $17,
Third Place (tie): Château Graville Lacoste Graves 2020. Looked unfiltered. Tasters found aromas of white flowers, perfume, detergent, grass, thyme, oregano, asparagus, and green bell pepper. Not as overtly fruity. Ali detected "a little bit of pee, but not in a bad way." Lighter in body than most others, with flavors of oranges, limes, peach, and the rind of a cantaloupe. Rather short finish. Received 9 points. Ali's bottle. About $23.
Château Graville Lacoste Graves 2019. Looked unfiltered. Some skunky, funky, scents initially, like dirty sponge, rubber, wet dog, and burnt protein. Improved with air, however, with notions of fresh herbs, scallions, and green stems emerging. Citrus flavors reminded tasters of lemon meringue. 7 points. Kristin's bottle. About $22.
Château Ducasse Graves 2018. Made from 60% Sémillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc. A darker straw color, with a nose suggesting grass, like a freshly mown lawn, plus unripe strawberry and cedar. A little flat and bland on the palate, but showed some kiwi and grass flavors. Lean, but not bad. Andy felt that it tasted like "$17 worth of regret." 3 points. Andy's bottle. About $17.