Albert Perromat’s youthful and exuberant 2019 Château Beauregard-Ducasse Cuvée Albertine Peyri Graves (60% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc) exhibits crystalline brilliance, amplifying aromatics, and a wealth of flavors, as well as laser-like focus and intensity. Citrus, peach, and quince aromas greet the nose before emerging in the mouth to tantalize the tongue and palate. Full-bodied and mouth-filling, the 2019 Château Beauregard-Ducasse Cuvée Albertine Peyri evolves constantly in the glass, initially offering a citrus-like intensity born of Sauvignon Blanc before revealing a mélange of dried honey, melon, guava, and quince from the wine’s predominance of Semillon. The wine’s hiatus in barrel is barely evident until a delightful hint of vanilla melds with a splash of quinine on the wine’s long, power-packed finish. Befitting the finest of white Graves, the 2019 Cuvée Albertine Peyri will continue to improve in bottle for several more years and drink well for nearly a decade. We suggest serving the 2019 Château Beauregard-Ducasse Cuvée Albertine Peyri moderately chilled (38°-40° F), and then allowing it to open slowly in the glass to reveal its many facets. Anticipated maturity: 2022-2027. Enjoy!
In Bordeaux, white Graves is the order of the day with the region’s legendary seafood. With that said, the 2019 Château Beauregard-Ducasse Cuvée Albertine Peyri will surely shine at table with fish and shellfish. Pecan Encrusted Sea Bass, Grilled Halibut with a Saffron Velouté, and Oysters Rockefeller make fine companions to this full flavored white Graves. Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp and Pineapple served with a butternut squash crispy spring roll and Baked Grouper Filets, prepared with a pumpkin seed pesto, provide more mouthwatering accompaniments as will most fruits of the sea. For those not married to the sea for sustenance, Almond Encrusted Pork Tenderloin, served with a dried cranberry and apple conserve makes a tasty choice with the 2019 Cuvée Albertine Peyri as do a variety of French cheeses, including goat cheeses, Brie, and Roquefort, which are often hard to pair with lesser wines. Bon appétit!
Spending time with the young and engaging Albert Perromat and his delightful wife Pauline Lurton is a highlight of any trip to Bordeaux. Albert, the 7th generation winemaker in his family, has assumed the helm at his family’s Graves estate. Albert holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Toulouse and has worked extensively in France and California to hone his craft. Albert comes from a long line of winemakers from the nearby Sauternes appellation of Bordeaux. He grew up at Armajan des Ormes, which is still owned by Albert’s grandfather and managed by his father and uncle. Château Beauregard-Ducasse was taken over by Albert’s father in the 1980s when it was just a tiny 2-acre vineyard. The 2-acre diminutive property belonged to Albert’s grandparents. Today it is a 100-acre family run and managed estate with 27 acres of vines located on a bed of gravel (from which the name Graves is derived) in the tiny village of Mazères in the southern and most rural section of the Graves appellation.
Château Beauregard-Ducasse produces exceptional white and red Graves. The majority of the estate’s production is white Graves from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. In order to provide the highest quality wine, Château Beauregard-Ducasse produces two white Graves: an easy drinking wine meant for early consumption, and the château’s flagship white wine, Château Beauregard-Ducasse Cuvée Albertine Peyri (this month’s feature). The Cuvée Albertine Peyri is a barrel fermented white Graves from the château’s finest barrels of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The château’s flagship red Graves, Château Beauregard-Ducasse Cuvée Albert Duran, consists of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The two premier offerings are named in honor of Albert’s great grandparents who are responsible for initiating Château Beauregard-Ducasse.
Graves is the oldest and most historic of all the Bordeaux communes. Before Latour, Lafite, Margaux, and the rest of the well-known names of the Médoc even existed or had even seen a cultivated vine, there was Graves. In fact, Graves has been the home of cultivated vines since as early as the 1st century AD, due at least in part to the Romans’ inability to grow other crops in the graveled soil from which the name Graves is derived. The stone and gravel deposits 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 porous soil to draw life and subtle complex flavors from the nutrients below.
The wines of Graves appear to be the first Bordeaux wines to be exported, with archeological evidence that Roman garrisons in Britain were the happy recipients of Bordeaux’s quintessential wines. And, by the early 12th century, Graves was the most sought after wine in England and beyond for its quality as well as its proximity to the city and port of Bordeaux itself, which lay just a few kilometers from Graves.
Today, the northern section of Graves called Pessac Léognon must battle the urban sprawl that has broken out of the confines of the city of Bordeaux and spread to the nearby suburbs of Talence and Pessac. A little south of these towns lies 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. 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, a classic cigar box scent, black currant, and tobacco emanate from red Graves and form a bouquet that is frequently described as enchanting and profound. Moreover, fine red Graves is often the supplest of Bordeaux on the palate. It is also the most flavorful, and easily appreciated of all the great red wines of Bordeaux.
Similarly, white Graves is a dry, very aromatic wine that emits great freshness as well as substantial flavor. Perhaps the greatest event in Graves in the last twenty years has been the revolution that has taken hold among the producers of white Graves. Once, an obscure and expensive proposition that did not always travel well, contemporary white Graves has taken on even greater vigor, personality and in some cases an exotic edge that underscores the physiological ripeness that was often absent in white Graves in years past. At their best, the finest white Graves can rival the best white wines made anywhere in the world.
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