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2022 Graves Blanc

Château Graville-Lacoste
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Bordeaux is often thought of as red-wine territory. One of France’s most renowned wine regions, it boasts many of the most coveted Cabernets and Merlots in the world. Yet this slice of the country’s Atlantic coast also produces very worthy whites that are perfect as apéritifs or paired with the local catch, like cod. If you want to sample the region’s best blancs, look no further than Graves, an appellation south of the left bank’s prestigious châteaux.
      Although the view here is not as awe-inspiring as it is in various other wine regions—Bordeaux is relatively flat— the ground is hallowed, with clay-and-limestone soils that are ideal for growing Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle: grapes that are used for both sweet Sauternes and dry Graves. All three varieties feature in this white from Hervé Dubourdieu’s Château Graville-Lacoste.
     Because Hervé’s vines are five decades old and therefore have access to deep water reserves, and because their location is in one of Graves’s cooler microclimates, this blanc is incredibly consistent, year in and year out: crisp, fresh, and refreshing with notes of citrus, cut grass, and subtle tropical fruits. It remains among the best values in all of France and a wonderful expression of Bordeaux’s white-wine possibilities.

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 60% Sémillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle
Appellation: Graves
Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Producer: Château Graville-Lacoste
Winemaker: Hervé Dubourdieu
Vineyard: 45-48 years, 13 ha
Soil: Clay & Limestone on fissured rock
Aging: Vinification and aging in stainless steel
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 12.5%

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About The Region

Bordeaux

map of Bordeaux

Often considered the wine capital of the world, Bordeaux and its wines have captured the minds, hearts, and wallets of wine drinkers for centuries. For many, the wines provide an inalienable benchmark against which all other wines are measured.

Bordeaux is divided into three winegrowing regions with the city that gives the region its name in the near geographical center. The “right bank,” or the area located east of the Dordogne River, produces wines that are predominantly Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The “left bank” is located to the west of the Garonne River and produces wines dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

The third region, Entre-Deux-Mers, lies between both rivers and produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Though technically in the left bank, it is worth noting the appellation of Sauternes, which produces arguably the world’s most famous sweet wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle as well.

Though many top Bordeaux wines are sold en primeur (in advance of their bottling) and often through a middleman known as a negoçiant, Kermit has always preferred to purchase directly from the winemaker. For more than three decades he has sought out small producers, who make classic Bordeaux wines and are willing to play outside the negoçiant system. This ethic has led to longstanding relationships, excellent prices, and perhaps most important—wines of great value and longevity.

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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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