The 2016 Château Ducasse Graves comes on the heels of the superlative 2015 vintage in Bordeaux. The 2016 vintage in Graves has been equally heralded, which makes the twin vintages of 2015 and 2016 two of the finest back to back vintages in Bordeaux in recent memory. While the red Bordeaux in 2015 shade a bit more to what some call a “New World Style,” the 2016 red Graves epitomize classic red Bordeaux from Graves, with the 2016 Château Ducasse exhibiting an especially deep purple robe and enticing aromas of black fruits, cassis, mulberry, unsmoked tobacco and supple earth tones that tantalize the nose and satiate the palate. Dry, yet rich with the quintessential savor of Graves, the 2016 Château Ducasse offers a wealth of blackberry and currant fruit, cedar, herbs and wood smoke on the palate to complement its firm tannins. Bolder and more structured than in previous vintages, the 2016 Château Ducasse can be enjoyed now or cellared for several years. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest decanting the 2016 Château Ducasse Graves for at least 30 minutes before serving at cool room temperature (60° F). It should drink well from 2019-2025.
The 2016 Château Ducasse Graves is a medium to full-bodied red Bordeaux that makes a splendid dinner party companion. It graciously accompanies a variety of dishes, from the simple to the sublime. One of our favorite pairings with young Graves is veal. Tender cutlets of milk fed veal stuffed with cheeses and herbs provide wonderful accompaniments to Château Ducasse’s quintessential red Graves. However, a juicy rare steak will also make a fine companion to the more structured, bolder-flavored 2016 Château Ducasse. Almond Encrusted Pork Tenderloin, served with a dried cranberry and apple conserve and savory wild rice, offers another tasty complement. Cornish game hens and fine cuts of beef served with roasted root vegetables offer equally rewarding pairings to Château Ducasse’s red Graves. And red Graves in the company of a platter of soft cheeses makes for a simple but satisfying combination, without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Bon appétit!
Château Ducasse is an estate-bottled red wine from Château Beauregard Ducasse, located in Bordeaux’s Graves region. Siblings Marie-Laure and Jacques Perromat are the sixth generation to make wine at Château Beauregard Ducasse, as the family has been in possession of this venerable château since 1850. Located in the village of Mazères in the southernmost rural section of the Graves region on a bed of gravel (from which the name Graves is derived), this 27 acre estate produces exceptional red and white Graves.
The majority of the estate’s production is white Graves from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, while the two red Graves of Château Beauregard Ducasse consist of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and in some vintages a small quantity of Petit Verdot. In order to provide the highest quality wine, Château Beauregard-Ducasse produces two exceptional red Graves at the château, Château Ducasse (this month’s feature) and Château Beauregard Ducasse. The Perromats also fashion two white Graves, an easy drinking wine meant for early consumption and the more age-worthy Cuvée Albertine Peyri, a barrel fermented white Graves from the finest barrels.
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.
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