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Chateau Tirecul La Graviere 2003

Bordeaux White Blends from France
  • RP95
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This property's Grand Vin has harmony and balance. Issued from perfectly botrytised grapes, the famous Noble Rot, it marries fruity aromas, spices and floweriness typicall of Muscadelle grapes. Its roundness in the mouth and its elegance fills out in your mouth for minutes; a great classic, at ease on the best tables.

Perfectly suited for desserts, foie gras, lightly spiced Indian dishesor creamy pasta dishes, as well as Roquefort.

Blend: 55% Semillon, 45% Muscadelle

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A 30-year aging curve is possible for the 2003 Chateau. Composed of 55% Semillon and 45% Muscadelle aged nearly 30 months in French oak, it reveals a dark amber color along with a blockbuster bouquet of toffee, maple syrup, roasted hazelnuts, creme brulee, toasted pineapple and assorted honeyed citrus. Terrific acidity balances out the nearly 120 grams per liter of residual sugar. Possessing superb richness, intensity and length, this is an absolute steal that, as mentioned above, will age at least three decades.
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Chateau Tirecul La Graviere

Chateau Tirecul La Graviere

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Chateau Tirecul La Graviere, France
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At the beginning of 1992, Claudie and Bruno Bilancini leased 9 hectares of the "Vineyards of Tirecul", one of the ancient Premier Crus of Monbazillac. Although in very poor condition, they could see a potential in the old vines planted on the best hillside slope of the region, and a soil free from chemical fertilizer.

It was the beginning of a great adventure, both being motivated by the desire to revive the glorious past of the domaine without compromising on the quality and character of sweet wines – a radical choice.

From the very first vintages, the wines received international and national acclaim, to such an extent that by 1997, they had the means to purchase the domaine, as well as restore and develop the ancient chais, and to begin implementing rigorous standards for the vineyard.

From the very beginning, they chose to have a respectful approach towards the environment, and decided to convert to organic farming in 2009. Since 2012, all their wines are officially organic.

Nearly synonymous with fine wine and all things epicurean, France has a culture of wine production and consumption that is deeply rooted in tradition. Many of the world’s most beloved grape varieties originated here, as did the concept of “terroir”—the notion that regions and vineyards convey a sense of place that is reflected in the resulting wine. Accordingly, most French wine is labeled by geographical location, rather than grape variety, which can be confusing to the general consumer, who can benefit from a general working knowledge of the major appellations. Some of the greatest wine regions in the world can be found here, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, and Champagne, but each part of the country has its own specialties and strengths.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, always unblended, are the king and queen of Burgundy, producing elegant red and white wines with great acidity, the finest examples of which can age for decades and command astoundingly high auction prices. The same varieties, along with Pinot Meunier, are used in Champagne. Of comparable renown is Bordeaux, focused on bold, structured red wines that are almost always blends of some combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. The primary white varieties of Bordeaux are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The Rhône Valley is responsible for monovarietal Syrah in the north, while in the south it is generally blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre. White Rhône varieties include Marsanne, Roussane, and Viognier. Most of these varieties are planted throughout the country and beyond, extending their influence into both the Old and New Worlds.

Bordeaux White Blends

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Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added interest. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington, and Australia.

In the Glass

Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime, and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex, and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile, and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of noble rot, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

Perfect Pairings

Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil, and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras, or fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but smart sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during, or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

CVF106091_2003 Item# 118531