Château de la Grave ‘Grains Fins', Côtes de Bourg 2019 is no longer available

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Château de la Grave ‘Grains Fins', Côtes de Bourg 2019

White Wine from France - Bordeaux
This unusual white Bordeaux blend of 60% semillon and 40% colombard is fresh and creamy with lovely rounded texture. Barrel fermentation adds an extra dimension.
is no longer available
Code: BW6721

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Dry
  • Semillon
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2022
  • 75cl
  • Cork, plastic

Dry White Bordeaux

The Bordeaux region is most renowned for its red wines but there are a number of excellent dry white wines, some of them amongst the most prestigious white wines in France, and indeed the world.

White wine represents little more than 10% of the output of the region, from vines grown on about 7,000 hectares. Unlike Bordeaux AC reds, whites under the simple Bordeaux appellation may come from very prestigious properties within a commune because the commune appellation rules sometimes apply only to red wine. Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux and Ygrec, the dry white wines from the legendary producers Château Margaux and Château d’Yquem respectively, can only bear the appellation Bordeaux AC despite each estates’ renown and status as a 1er grand cru classé for red wines.

As with reds under the basic Bordeaux appellations, the grapes that make white wine can come from anywhere in Bordeaux (and if made by a négociant company probably will). The principal grape varieties for Bordeaux AC...
The Bordeaux region is most renowned for its red wines but there are a number of excellent dry white wines, some of them amongst the most prestigious white wines in France, and indeed the world.

White wine represents little more than 10% of the output of the region, from vines grown on about 7,000 hectares. Unlike Bordeaux AC reds, whites under the simple Bordeaux appellation may come from very prestigious properties within a commune because the commune appellation rules sometimes apply only to red wine. Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux and Ygrec, the dry white wines from the legendary producers Château Margaux and Château d’Yquem respectively, can only bear the appellation Bordeaux AC despite each estates’ renown and status as a 1er grand cru classé for red wines.

As with reds under the basic Bordeaux appellations, the grapes that make white wine can come from anywhere in Bordeaux (and if made by a négociant company probably will). The principal grape varieties for Bordeaux AC whites are sauvignon blanc, semillon, sauvignon gris, ugni blanc and muscadelle with some smaller plantings of colombard and a little merlot blanc.

At one time semillon was the most widely planted grape variety in Bordeaux, red or white, but since public taste moved decisively to red wines it has declined and now plays second fiddle to sauvignon blanc, which has enjoyed a renaissance in the wake of New Zealand’s success with the variety. Indeed, while most Bordeaux wines are a blend of complementary grape varieties, there are now a significant number of single-varietal sauvignons on the market.

White grapes, particularly sauvignon blanc, are harvested earlier than reds, unless they are destined for sweet wines, and many are hand-picked because of the narrow width of the rows in many Bordeaux vineyards though machine harvesting is an option for some. Vineyard management, as with reds, is much improved in recent decades, with a much better understanding of vine care and canopy management leading to more reliably ripened and healthy fruit. Those that can afford to will sort the grapes at least once on arrival at the winery, partly because of the inherent problems of fungal attacks in Bordeaux.

Winemaking techniques vary, with some producers having the resources to give the juice extended skin contact and the resulting wine some time in oak, though most cannot and do not. The bad old days of excessive use of sulphur are mostly gone and white wines are greatly improved, with better fruit characters across the board and terrific freshness and balance. The best wines are world class and many provide excellent value.

Bordeaux whites have a very pale yellow colour when young which will deepen to straw yellow with age. Pessac-Léognan whites and those vinified in oak are generally richer in colour and flavour and favour more elaborate fish and white-meat dishes.
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Chateau de la Grave

Philippe and Valérie Bassereau took over this splendid property from Philippe’s father in 1982, becoming the fourth generation of the family to run it. It is situated in the commune of Bourg on the right bank of the Gironde River where the well-exposed hillsides benefit from good sunlight. The château itself dates back to the 16th century although it was later restored in the style of Louis XIII.

The Bassereaus have worked hard to steadily improve the wines at Château de la Grave and have been supplying The Society with good value reds for many years. Their wines seem to be getting finer as each vintage adds polish and finesse to the naturally generous flavour and structure of the wine which gives staying power in bottle.

The cream of each vintage’s crop is made into the top wine, Nectar de la Grave which keeps particularly well with its generous flavours. With a predominance of merlot in the blend all the Château de la Grave reds have plenty of charm and fruit. The white Côte de Bourg labelled as Grains Fins is an unusual blend of semillon and colombard which is gently barrel fermented so as not to mask the fragrant fruit.

For members visiting the area, it is worth knowing that Philippe and Valérie have rooms to let in the château which makes a charming place to stay, overlooking the vineyard slopes.

Bordeaux Vintage 2019

The Bordeaux dry whites of 2019 are excellent this year, with an almost exotic edge, but underscored with the hallmark freshness of the vintage, and good aromatic expression.
2019 vintage reviews
2018 vintage reviews
2017 vintage reviews

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