Every Monday, discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
This Thirsty Thursday uncorks an accident. I had ordered Château de Rochemorin’s 2006 Red full of excitement. Baron de Montesquieu -inspiration to America’s Constitution- lived and made wine here in Pessac-Léognan (a Graves sub-region that weaves into Bordeaux’s suburbs).
2006 was a challenging year for reds, leading to powerful, cellar-needy, tannic, austere wines. The problem? This 2006 is white. Continue reading
This installment of Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour finds us sick, drunk, and headed to the fourth and last winery in Graves in southeast Bordeaux.
To recap: a free van picked us up for “Portes Ouvertes dans les Graves” (Open Doors in Graves) in the sleepy town of Langon (below):
We tried Bordeaux’s just-fermented varietals at Château Pont de Brion (here), ate rotten grapes at Château La Croix (here), and met a red-only, family run, micro-winery at Château Caillivet (here).
Well-smashed, our white tin chariot takes us to Bordeaux’s Southern-most winery: Château de Roquetaillade la Grange:
Luckily, we didn’t walk.
Soft hills roll with vine rows. This is the highest vineyard in Graves: roughly 100 meters above sea-level. Not a mountain, but unlike la Croix’s river-side, rotting grapes (tricky, but perfect for dessert wine), dry breezes and more drainage keep Roquetaillade’s vines happy. With all this rain, that matters.
Also unlike the rest of Langon, this “Château” has a château: Continue reading
We pick up last Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour post south of Bordeaux, sick, but thirsty. Our free, Open Doors, van tour of Graves had started decently. Château Pont de Brion let us taste a mini-enprimeur of 2012’s just-harvested varietals. They were tidy, well-branded, but too clean to be outstanding. Then I kicked a dog (accidentally), and they kicked us out.
Today, our van bounces to its next stop: Château la Croix.
The word Châteaux clearly gets applied to anything in Bordeaux. A child plays with gravel in the driveway. A stable-winery glares orange. The center tree shades a large, black dog who greets with a lazy bark.
But superficiality be damned. We came for wine, not glamor. Our van clatters off, leaving us and three, twenty-something ladies in the parking lot. Continue reading
Day 93 of EU Austerity Drinking finds us sick, stuck in bed, in Bordeaux, and worst of all, completely sober.
But “Portes Ouvertes dans les Graves” is happening. Basically, free buses will carry us from one free winery tour and tasting to the next, until we have soaked in all that Graves has to offer.
So I drag my flu-riddled wife out of bed. We miss the first train, after hacking and coughing our way to the station. We catch our breath, and hop on the next. While we chug out of Bordeaux, here’s some context.
Graves is a subregion of Bordeaux. It covers vineyards that surround the city and run South along the Garonne River’s left bank. Continue reading