Great White Wines of Europe

Michael Dabbs’ curated tasting event at Berry Bros & Rudd, aptly titled ‘Great White Wines of Europe’, was a masterfully guided tour through some of the most notable and prestigious white wines from across the continent. Each bottle told its own story, bringing to light the diversity of landscapes, climates and grape varieties that Europe’s viticulture has to offer.

Apéritif: Champagne Bollinger, Special Cuvée, Brut (en magnum $138 – rating: 4.3 / 5.0)

We kicked off the event with Champagne Bollinger’s Special Cuvée Brut. This lovely Champagne filled the palate with vibrant notes of green apple, ripe pear, and a hint of brioche, boasting a persistent mousse and refreshing acidity that set the mood for the evening.

Wine 1: 2007 Champagne Bollinger, R.D. Extra Brut (Disgorged 17/11/21) (en magnum, $481 – rating: 4.6 / 5.0)

The second Champagne from Bollinger, the R.D. Extra Brut 2007, impressed with its complex layers of baked apple, roasted almonds, and a hint of chalky minerality. The extended ageing was beautifully evident in the deep flavours and long, biscuity finish.

Wine 2: 2019 Riesling, Scharzhofberger, Grosses Gewächs Van Volxem, Mosel, Germany (en magnum $165 – rating: 4.6 / 5.0)x

The Van Volxem Riesling from the esteemed Scharzhofberger vineyard was a testament to German wine expertise. It was elegant and lively, with notes of lime zest, white peach, and wet slate minerality. The harmonious balance between ripe fruit notes, minerality and acidity was utterly delightful.

Wine 3: 2020 Grüner Veltliner, Smaragd, Wachstum Bodenstein Prager, Wachau, Austria – ($80 – rating: 4.3 / 5.0)

The Austrian Grüner Veltliner from Prager’s Wachstum Bodenstein vineyard displayed distinctive notes of white pepper, green apple and fresh herbs, underpinned by a mineral-driven backbone. The wine’s vibrant freshness and structure were in perfect harmony.

Wine 4: 2020 Muganazzi, Etna Bianco, Graci, Sicily, Italy – ($62 – rating: 4.0 / 5.0)

The Graci Etna Bianco, hailing from Sicily, surprised with its aromatic intensity. With aromas of ripe citrus, green almond, and a distinct volcanic mineral undertone, it showcased the unique terroir of Mount Etna.

Wine 5: 2015 Blanc Fumé de Pouilly, Didier Dagueneau, Loire, France – ($128 – rating: 4.3 / 5.0)

Didier Dagueneau’s Blanc Fumé de Pouilly, a Sauvignon Blanc with a difference, impressed with its expressive nose of gooseberries, cut grass, and flint. The ageing process lent the wine a rounded mouthfeel, coupled with a lingering mineral finish.

Wine 6: 2015 Chassagne-Montrachet, Les Vergers, 1er Cru, Bernard Moreau & Fils, Burgundy, France – ($211 – rating: 4.7 / 5.0)

The Chassagne-Montrachet from Bernard Moreau & Fils was an epitome of Burgundian elegance. Offering a bouquet of white flowers, toasted hazelnuts, and a hint of vanilla, it displayed a depth of flavour with an impressively long, complex finish. For me, one of the stand out wine of the night.

Wine 7: 2006 Viña Tondonia Blanco, Reserva, Bodegas R. López de Heredia, Rioja, Spain – ($165 – rating: 4.4 / 5.0)

Next was the Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva, showcasing Spain’s often overlooked mastery of white wines. This 2006 vintage offered layers of dried fruit, honey, and toasted almond on the nose, along with a rich, silky texture on the palate.

Wine 8: 2015 L’Etoile, Vin Jaune, Domaine de Montbourgeau, Jura, France – ($89 – rating: 3.9 / 5.0)

The Vin Jaune from Domaine de Montbourgeau was a journey into the heart of Jura. Its distinctive aromas of walnut, dried fruit, and spice were intriguing, though its rich, oxidative style might not appeal to everyone.

Wine 9: 2016 Château ‘Yquem, 1er Cru Classé Supérieur, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France – ($276 – rating: 4.9 / 5.0)

The Château ‘Yquem Sauternes was simply divine. Its intoxicating bouquet of candied apricots, honey and spice, along with the luscious, well-balanced sweetness on the palate, was a testament to why it is regarded as one of the world’s greatest dessert wines.

Wine 10: 2011 Tokaji Eszencia, Oremus, Hungary – ($529 – rating: 3.2 / 5.0)

Lastly, the Tokaji Eszencia from Oremus, while boasting an intense concentration of apricot jam, honey, and spice, proved a bit too sweet and syrupy for my taste. However, it certainly showcased the traditional winemaking style of Hungary’s Tokaji region.

Michael Dabbs expertly orchestrated the journey through these great white wines of Europe, each of them a showcase of their unique terroir, crafting an enriching and educational tasting experience. I eagerly anticipate attending more of Berry Bros & Rudd’s wine tastings in the future.

Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

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