Red, Ready, but will keep

2012 Ch. de Chantegrive Rouge, Graves

2012 Ch. de Chantegrive Rouge, Graves

Red | Ready, but will keep | Ch. de Chantegrive | Code:  41759 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > Graves | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Ch. de Chantegrive

Ch. de Chantegrive

Château de Chantegrive is one of the largest wine estates in the Graves appellation, in the commune of Podensac, with 97 hectares (240 acres) of vines.

It is a member of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. The Chateau produces a red & rose wines from Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon,as well as white wines based on Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from 10 hectares (25 acres) of 30+ years oldvines

In 1966 Henri and Françoise Lévêque purchased some vineyards around the village of Podensac and gradually set about creating the Chantegrive estate. The baton has now been passed to the younger generation and the progress continues.

The Cuvée Caroline is their white wine produced from 12 hectares of vines. The juice is fermented in barrel and is then aged in new Allier oak casks for 9 months, with regular stirring of the lees to enrich then wine. A recent clutch of awards bears testimony to the exciting quality of wine being made here and the recognition it is deservedly earning

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region

Graves

Graves

Graves is the region which first established Bordeaux's wine reputation. Its wines were exported to England as early as the 12th century and Samuel Pepys drank Ho Bryan (sic) in London on 10th April, 1663.

The names Graves is derived from ‘gravel’ and the best soils are gravel-rich, mixed with sand and occasionally clay. Graves is larger in areas than the Médoc but produces only half the amount of wine. The best wines of Graves were initially classified in 1953 with this classification being confirmed in 1959.

Until 1987, this entire region, which runs immediately south of the city of Bordeaux until it reaches Sauternes, was known as the Graves and its entirety is still sometimes informally referred to as such, but from the 1986 vintage a new communal district was created within Graves, based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the Classed Growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city, and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux

Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch. Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet Haut-Brion, Ch. Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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