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A classic mature white Graves, the 2001 Château Le Sartre Pessac-Léognan is all about elegance, refinement, and subtlety of flavor. Like all truly exceptional white Bordeaux wines, Château Le Sartre is not a heavy or weighty white wine on the palate; instead, it is the ultimate in finesse and nuance of flavor. Delicate aromas of white peach, stone fruits, and quince haunt the wine’s beguiling bouquet. Refined and easy to drink, this classy white Graves offers up a well integrated set of flavors that meld herb, citrus, butter, and clean vanilla oak into one delicious package. If this wine has a fault, it is surely the impression it gives of being carefree and light as it slips so merrily down the gullet. Charming and ohhh so smooth, you will want another sip, and then another, until you have consumed the bottle. Consider the 2001 Château Le Sartre Pessac-Léognan as a seductress or true femme fatale, and enjoy! Moderate chilling (about 40º- 45º F) for the Le Sartre seems to be the most alluring point of departure; however, one can make a case for a more ambient temperature, especially in cool climates. Salut!
Fine white Graves is, perhaps, the ultimate wine with fish, so if you are so inclined the 2001 Château Le Sartre Pessac-Léognan will do any well-prepared seafood dish and its host or hostess proud. Prawns, served in a savory herb butter, sautéed scallops, shrimp, or crab, all provide especially fine parings with this wine. However, a classic Sole Meunière is, perhaps, the accompaniment par excellent. The delicacy of the fish and the wine intertwine to caress the mouth and guarantee that a second bottle will most assuredly have to be brought to table. In the absence of sole, fresh founder offers an excellent substitute and can be just as rewarding. Nonetheless, if the fruits of the sea are not to your liking, we suggest serving the 2001 Château Le Sartre as an aperitif or with some soft flavorful cheeses such as Derby or Neufchatel. It is sure to put you and your guests in the mood for an elegant meal. Bon appetit!
Château Le Sartre is a small highly prized property from the outstanding Pessac-Léognan
appellation of Graves. This estate is well situated between two of the oldest and most prestigious estates in Graves as well as all Bordeaux, Château Fieuzal and Domaine de Chevalier. It is owned by Antony Perrin, also the proprietor of Château Carbonnieux, which just so happens to be Graves’ most consistent and renowned white wine estate.
Château Le Sartre is the beneficiary of a great terroir, superb winemaking, and a commitment to quality and excellence, all of which serve as the hallmarks of the finest classified Bordeaux estates. Both white and red Graves are produced at Château Le Sartre, but there is no doubt that the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend that constitutes the domain’s white Graves ranks with the best this appellation has to offer.
Graves: The Birthplace of Bordeaux
Graves is the oldest and most historic of all Bordeaux communes. Before there was Château Latour, Lafite, and Margaux, and all the other illustrious names of the Médoc, there was Graves. In fact, Graves, which lies just to the south of the city of Bordeaux itself, is the birthplace of Bordeaux viticulture: vines have been cultivated in Graves since as early as the 1st century AD, due at least in part to the Roman presence and the legionnaires’ inability to grow much else in the graveled soil from which the name Graves is derived. The stone and gravel deposits of this great terroir are vestiges of the last Ice Age, a bane to most farmers but a boon to grape growers, whose vines struggle deep into the thin gravelly soil to draw life and subtle complex flavors from the nutrients below.
Today, the northern section of Graves called Pessac Léognon remains Graves’ premier appellation and one of the ultimate wine producing regions in all France, even though it must now battle the urban sprawl that spreads out from the confines of the city of Bordeaux and the nearby suburbs of Talence and Pessac. A little south of these towns lays the pastoral heart of Graves, a pretty, rural country where vineyards mingle with pastures and pine forests. Here, life remains wedded to the land and the joys of the vine.
Graves is rightly famous for both its red and white wines, which are produced in equal proportion. At their best, the red wines of Graves are unsurpassed for their aromatic beauty as well as their smooth, rich flavors. Earthy fragrant aromas that resemble cedar, the classic cigar box scent, black currant, and tobacco emanate from red Graves and form a bouquet that is frequently described as both enchanting and profound. Moreover, fine red Graves is often the supplest wine in all Bordeaux. Good Graves is also the most flavorful and easily appreciated of all Bordeaux reds for novices as well as connoisseurs.
Meanwhile, white Graves is a dry, very aromatic wine that emits great freshness as well as a litany of flavors. Perhaps, the greatest event to take place in Graves in the last quarter century is the revolution among the producers of white Graves. Once, an obscure and expensive proposition that rarely traveled well, contemporary white Graves has taken on vigor, personality, and even a hint of exotica that underscores the physiological ripeness that was too frequently absent in white Graves in years past. At their best, the finest white Graves are enchanting, flavorful wines that rival the very best white wines of France.
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