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If the thought of Bordeaux seems stuffy and cobwebbed, it’s because it has been. For a long time. Though the big Chateaux with their big coffers are still arguably putting out fantastic wines, it’s hard to get excited about if you’ll likely never enjoy a single sip in your lifetime.

But there are some intriguing rebels breaking from the pack, and making really great wine in the process. Outside of the most prominent subregions (though occasionally within them) there is a revolution moving the spotlight away from the castles and back to the vineyards. In the quickly-innovating region of Francs Côtes de Bordeaux, winemakers are refocusing on their soils — that central aspect of terroir which has seemed of head-scratchingly little interest to the Bordelaise at large for so long.

Some of these wines are hugely powerful, some elegant and nuanced. At Chateau Puyanché,  the commitment to sustainable farming shows the potential for Bordeaux’s changing ways.

Their Bordeaux Blanc is led by 75% Sauvignon Blanc, keeping the wine crisp and lifted with ripe green pear, starfruit, and peach juice. The remaining 25% Sémillon brings a subtle richness hinting at pineapple upside-down cake and banana pudding. Fermentation and aging take place in oak barrels, softly integrating that range of flavors and lending a long, complex finish.

Puyanché Bordeaux Rouge comes from the stellar 2015 vintage and 20- to 40-year-old vines — showing you don’t need an antiquated pedigree to make a classically balanced Bordeaux. Sweet apple, blackberry, violets, and a rustic earthiness show aromatically on the nose, with nicely structured plum, baking chocolate, and earth on the finish. The Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend has a keen balance of fine-grain tannins and acid enough to head into cellar for several years, though the wine is drinking just lovely right now.

-Aimee Hutchinson | Wine Manager Top Ten Liquors

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