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My Summer Favorite

Pair a glass of chilled, white Bordeaux with a hot, humid Birmingham summer.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

Excluding Champagne, white Bordeaux has been my favorite white wine for many years. I look forward to a well-chilled glass of Chateau Graville-Lacoste at the end of a long, hot day.

The French wine region of Bordeaux is most famous for their classic growths of dry red wines— blended of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes—and sweet dessert wines including Château d' Yquem. Yet they also produce world-class white wines, white Bordeaux.

I first discovered white Bordeaux many years ago and hoarded up cases of my favorite label and vintage. I not only paired it with summer, but also first course holiday meals. Guests would ask, “What is this wine?” and say they had never had anything like it. It was delightful to introduce people to this great wine. And when the last bottle was finally brought up from the cellar, it was time to start over with other labels and vintages of white Bordeaux.

This summer my favorite is Graville-Lacoste 2008. Graville-Lacoste is situated in Graves AOC, along the Garonne River on a 20-acre property, southeast of the city of Bordeaux—with vines more than a half-century old. Hervé Dubourdieu is the sixth generation of his family to grow vines. The fruit is picked by hand, and lees contact provides texture and depth.

This full-bodied white is pale in color and is made of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes. Characteristics of limestone and notes of lemon and grapefruit intermingle in this vibrant wine.  Crisp acidity and a creamy texture balance well together for a wine that is both complex, yet simply fun to sip.

Published, B-Metro magazine, August 2010


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