Graves is located a short drive south of the city of Bordeaux. The majority of the production is red but they also make excellent white wines. The total area planted with vines is just under 4000 ha, only a quarter of which produces white wines. Twenty years back it was closer to half-and-half. The fall in popularity for the whites is really a shame, since they can be excellent. The grapes are the usual white varieties in Bordeaux: sémillon (which dominates here), sauvignon blanc, and muscadelle. There are two types of whites, Graves, and Graves Supérieures, this latter designating the rather rare sweet variant (contrary to how that word is used for AC Bordeaux). Here are a few recommendations for particularly successful whites in 2007:
- Chateau Brondelle ”grand vin”: full-bodied, some oak, quite chewy
- Chateau Mageau (a Terra Vitis-producer): krisp and frash, elegant, grape fruit, minerally
- ”Tentation” du Chateau le Bourdillot: full-bodied, aromatic, quite developed
- Ch Villa Bel Air: fresh fruit, good body and volume, mineral, elegant
- ”Benjamin” de Vieux Chateau Certan: sauvignon-style, high acidity, fresh, elegant
These – and many other white Graves wines – are certainly worth (re-) discovering.