Château Couhins-Lurton, Pessac-Léognan (Bordeaux, France) “Acte II” Blanc 2020

($50):  André Lurton, a master of white Bordeaux, saved this legendary estate (it was awarded Grand Cru Classé Graves in 1959) from extinction in the early 1970s when he purchased a portion of it.  He subsequently acquired the rest of it, rejuvenated the vines and the cellar, and, as they say, the rest is history.  With the 2020 vintage, Château Couhins-Lurton released another wine, called Acte II, from the estate.  Winemaker Jacques Lurton insists that Acte II — also made entirely from Sauvignon Blanc — is not a “second” wine in the usual sense, but rather is made from grapes chosen from specific plots within the vineyard and vinified differently to make a wine ready to drink earlier.  The focus on whether Acte II is a “second” wine or not may be misplaced, and risks detracting from the wine’s charms.  Though the scents and bite of Sauvignon Blanc is apparent, this is far more than a varietal Sauvignon Blanc.  It shows the elegance of white Bordeaux, especially those from Pessac-Léognan.  There’s a gracefulness here, not the shocking electricity varietal Sauvignon Blanc can convey.  Couple that gracefulness with good weight, a fine finish, and balancing acidity, you have a wine that is delicious to drink now.
92 Michael Apstein Aug 9, 2022