The 2018 Château Ducasse Graves Blanc is unequivocally the finest young white Graves we have tasted from this property, underscoring the ultimate quality one can expect from consummate winemakers in the much heralded 2018 vintage throughout Bordeaux. This youthful white Graves displays a brilliant crystalline color with a flash of green along with a delightful bouquet born of an enticing mélange of melon, floral, and fruit aromas. Dry, yet rich in flavor and texture thanks to the preponderance of Semillon in the blend, the 2018 Château Ducasse Graves Blanc highlights the charm of traditional white Graves, which is much more than an ordinary Sauvignon Blanc blend. With Semillon the leading player and Sauvignon Blanc playing a strong supporting role, the 2018 Château Ducasse Graves Blanc captures the inherent beauty of white Graves: delicacy, minerality, and light refreshing fruit flavors reminiscent of honeydew melon and pomelo. What adds to this wine’s resume and ultimate charm is the ability to evolve in the glass and accompany a wide variety of foods. Moreover, the 2018 Château Ducasse Graves Blanc will continue to improve in bottle for several more years. We suggest serving this classic white Graves moderately chilled (38°-40° F). Enjoy!
In Bordeaux, white Graves is the order of the day with the region’s legendary seafood. With that said, the 2018 Château Ducasse Graves Blanc truly shines at table in the company of all that once swam in the sea or stream. Shellfish risotto served with butternut squash or wild-caught cod or salmon in a light lemon beurre blanc with saffron risotto and poached asparagus provide additional mouthwatering accompaniments to Château Ducasse’s elegant white Graves. A simple plate of prawns, dipped in drawn butter, steamed mussels in a savory broth, sautéed oysters, or just about any other fruits de mer will also accentuate the flavors in both the wine and the food. More complex seafood recipes such as Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp and Pineapple served with a butternut squash crispy spring roll or Baked Grouper Filets prepared with a pumpkin seed pesto provide more tasty accompaniments to the 2018 Château Ducasse Graves Blanc. White Graves is also one of the easiest wines to pair with cheeses, especially the finest French cheeses. A cheese platter that includes Brie or Camembert will provide a simple, satisfying complement to Château Ducasse’s soulful 2018 Graves Blanc. Bon appétit!
Château Ducasse Graves Blanc is an estate bottled white Graves from Château Beauregard-Ducasse. The young, affable Albert Perromat is now in charge of this family estate, making him the 7th generation to make wine at Château Beauregard-Ducasse. Albert’s family has been in possession of this venerable château since 1850 and Château Beauregard-Ducasse remains very much a family affair with Jacques and Marie-Laure, Albert’s parents, still actively involved in the daily operation of the property located in the tiny Graves village of Mazères. Mazères lies in the southern and most rural section of the Graves region on a bed of gravel (from which the name Graves is derived). The Perromats’ 27-acre estate occupies the highest ground in Graves, which serves to protect the surrounding vineyards from the late spring frosts that have recently decimated lower lying vineyards in Bordeaux, including those in the Médoc. Year in and year out, Château Beauregard-Ducasse produces exceptional red and white Graves.
The majority of the estate’s production is white Graves made 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 and Château Beauregard Ducasse Cuvee Albert Duran. The Perromats also fashion two special white Graves, Château Ducasse Graves Blanc (this month’s feature), a traditional white Graves meant to be consumed in the first five years of vintage, and the more age-worthy Cuvée Albertine Peyri, a barrel fermented white Graves.
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. Graves is also a rarity as its exceptional red and white wines enjoy equal renown.
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