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Bordeaux’s great whites

If former Wine Spectator Editor James Suckling is to be believed, Bordeaux 2010 is indubitably another great vintage. But it's not just the region's powerful reds that are kindling excitement amongst the critics. In a recent blog post, James Suckling claimed that the dry whites from Mission Haut Brion and Haut Brion left him "absolutely speechless". He awarded both of the principle blancs superior scores to their respective reds, though for him Haut Brion Blanc was "the one", and he assigned it a full 100 points. ("It's like falling for religion or something.") Domaine de Chevalier Blanc came a very close second at 99-100 points, whilst La Mission Haut Brion Blanc followed just a step behind at 98-99.

Suckling wasn't the only taster to be enraptured by the region's whites. According to Jancis Robinson, the wines of the Haut Brion stable were all "very impressive", but it was Mission Haut Brion Blanc that really went beyond. She described the Semillon-dominated blend as "utterly captivating already on the nose…Wonderful precision…So many interesting elements that will surely become more complex." Both Haut Brion Blanc and Mission Haut Brion Blanc received 18.5 points out of 20 – again, higher scores than those assigned to the chateaux's grand vins (which scored 18++ and 18 respectively).

The table below the 2010 scores from Jancis Robinson, James Suckling and James Molesworth. Though their ratings differ quite markedly, all of the critics appear to agree that the whites from Haut Brion and First-Growth pretender Mission Haut Brion were exceptional this year.

 2010 whites   
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