Graves AOC is the basic appellation of the Graves sub-region and stretches 50kms along the left bank of the Garonne to Langon and is limited to the southwest by the Landes forest. It was in the Graves commune that Bordeaux wine was first made and exported, and dates back almost 2,000 years to the middle-ages. In 1987 the region within the Graves appellation containing all the Grand Cru Classed Chateaux, mostly in the north of Graves, was designated a superior appellation: "Pessac-Leognan".
It is an ideal location which provides a micro-climate allowing the vines to be both protected from the weather, thanks to the Landes forest, as well as drought, thanks to the Garonne. The Graves appellation is also different to most of the other Bordeaux wine appellations as it is one of the only Bordeaux regions which produce both classic red and white wine.
The soil of the appellation, is composed of gravel stones, sand, clay and asteria limestone, and is it this famous “gravel” where the name Graves was derived from. The gravel stores the solar heat during the day and releases the heat until late at night promoting a natural ripening. The free draining gravel and sand offers ideal conditions for Cabernet sauvignon whilst the clay is suited more to merlot, providing the red wines of the Graves with a unique balance. Whilst the complex white wines are dominated by Semillion they are beautifully balanced through its traditional blending with Sauvignon blanc and muscadelle.
The reds of the Graves are rich, supple and elegant with notes often smoked with primary notes of red fruits, the second nose reveals aromas of violets, juniper, spices, chocolate, vanilla, nice woody notes are also present with resin pine and cedar. The whites are rounded, powerful, elegant, aromatic and well balanced with beautiful notes of citrus, lemon, boxwood, lemongrass and grapefruit, floral notes with beautiful acacia, hawthorn and broom, the second nose is pretty smoky notes of the breeding with peaks of exotic fruits.
Whilst Pessac-Leognan contains the Cru Classe, there are beautiful wines, both red and white, to be found in the South which combine the classic Graves style with high quality and great value.
|Planted Grapes||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Carmenère|
|Ageing Potential||5 to 15 years|
|Typical Style||Supple, firm, elegant and rich.|
|Typical Aromas||Smokey and floral with notes of resin and spices, with chocolaty, vanilla and roasted aromas|
|Food Matching||Roasted meat, pasta, omelettes, poultry, foie gras and cheese.|
|Best Vintages||2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1995, 1990, 1989|
|Planted Grapes||Sémillon, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon gris|
|Ageing Potential||2 to 5 years|
|Typical Style||Powerful, round, elegant and lively.|
|Typical Aromas||Smokey, floral, fruity, boxwood, grapefruit, passion fruit, broom flower, white flowers, beeswax and acacia flowers.|
|Food Matching||Aperitif, seafood, white meats, fish based sauce and sweet soft cheeses.|
|Best Vintages||2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1990|
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