White Graves has always had a small but important place in my cellar. Sauvignon Blanc from this gravelly region of Bordeaux has a personality that sets it apart from wines of the Loire, California, New Zealand or Australia. White Graves wines are brisk yet full bodied and, from the right estates, have the ability to age beautifully. At $10 to $12 a bottle (the price may have escalated from that over the past two years), Graville Lacoste is an excellent example. I buy as many bottles as I can afford, drink some young and put the rest away for five years or so.
Chateau Graville Lacoste, Chateau Ducasse and Chateau Romieu-Lacoste are wines in three separate appellations of Bordeaux, all made by Herve Dubourdieu, a sixth generation wine producer. All are good wines at a decent price, made with care from low yielding old vines.
Graville Lacoste is actually 70 to 80 percent Semillon with 15 to 20 percent Sauvignon Blanc and smaller quantities of Muscadelle. The vines, located close to Sauternes, average 55 years and are harvested in several passes through the vineyard to assure the proper level of ripeness. The wine is fermented in stainless steel--no new oak--but stirred on its lees frequently for greater body and richness.
My notes from June 13, 2007: "Deep, mature gold but bright and lovely./Rich scents of dried apricots and figs. Smells sweet but has tart acidity and freshness on the palate. Fresh peaches. The Semillon is dominant at this stage but without the grassiness that's common in Australian Semillons. Rich and lush, good for drinking now."