Being both a writer and a fan of rich, flavorful reds lends me one disadvantage: the potential to seem biased. So, I thought it was time to show you all that I still love a good white wine. Sure, I’ve covered them before. But probably not as much as I could. Today I’d like to tell you about a lovely white Bordeaux I had last night. Purchased in a marathon sale from Last Bottle Wines, this was the first to arrive at my doorstep and it was just what I was in the mood for last night. You can’t pair red with everything. Well, almost…
Fully lemon in color, this wine comes from the large catch-all appellation, Graves AOC. Located just southeast of Bordeaux city along the Garonne river, it includes the more famous AOC of Pessac-Léognan (where the only non-Medoc first growth Château Haut-Brion resides) and the highly renowned sweet white wine-producing AOCs, Barsac and Sauternes. Sauternes is where Premier-Cru Supérieur Château Y’Quem resides.
While not as famous, its regionally-appellated reds, whites and sweet wines are still very well-regarded and for that reason, quite affordable. For example, great sweet white wines are also made in the appellations of Cérons AOC and Graves Supérieur AOC. Thriving in the gravel soils, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the reds, usually blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. And Château Ferrande Graves 2010 is your typical white from the region – a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon with a medium body and finish thanks to the Sémillon, but still crisp and refreshing thanks to the Sauvignon. Both the reds and whites of Graves AOC are more modern and forward than their austere Prémier Cru counterparts. I think this is a good thing and allows the appellation a bit of its own identity.
Graves is also the origin of Claret, the oft-traded Bordeaux wine of the middle ages and hence, is often considered the birthplace of the fine red wines of Bordeaux. It derives its name from the gravelly soil, where wine-making thrived long before the marshy areas of the Medoc were deemed suitable for viticulture. At the sale price I paid only $13 which is affordable indeed for such an enjoyable wine.