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Barton & Guestier Graves 1999

Bordeaux White Blends from Graves, Bordeaux, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    The Graves appellation spreads over about 50 kilometers between Bordeaux and Langon, on the left bank of the Garonne river. As its name indicates, the soils are mainly gravely, often with "alios," or sandy subsoils rich in iron oxide. WINEMAKER NOTES The Sémillon grapes provide fullness, and the Sauvignon Blanc contributes freshness and its typical aromas of citrus and herbs. With its delicate bouquet and its body, this full, generous wine is very pleasant when drunk young, but matures admirably for several years. SERVING RECOMMENDATIONS Served cold but not too chilled, Graves is a prefect accompaniment to seafood, lobsters, fish in sauce or grilled. It is also a terrific match with natural goat cheeses.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Barton & Guestier

    Barton & Guestier

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    Barton & Guestier, Graves, Bordeaux, France
    The company's founder, Thomas Barton, left his native Ireland and emigrated to Bordeaux when he was just 30 years old. He was a true adventurer, looking to make his fortune, and founded a shipping company in 1725. The first barrels of wine were naturally exported to Ireland, which, along with Holland, was the biggest market for Bordeaux in the early 18th century. Very quickly, his efforts brought an unbelievable level of prosperity. He was the first shipper to have his own wine estates. By 1747, Thomas Barton was considered Bordeaux’s number one shipper. His loyal clients nicknamed him "French Tom".

    His family, his associates and his successors followed his example. In 1802, his grandson, Hugh Barton, teamed up with his friend Daniel Guestier, a French shipowner, to create Barton & Guestier. Both men's children and grandchildren went into the business, until the mid-20th century. Today, a dedicated team and over a hundred distributors continue to develop the Barton & Guestier brand worldwide. Barton & Guestier wines are widely recognized throughout the world as wines of excellent quality and tremendous value. The list of wines has also grown to include a broad range of classics from the greatest wine regions of France.

    Graves is a large region, extending 30 miles southeast of the city of Bordeaux, along the left bank of the Garonne River. It is the only Bordeaux appellation famous for both its red and white wines, though red producing vineyards cover well over three times as much area as the whites.

    In the late 1980s, the French created the separate appellation of Pessac-Léognan within the northern confines of Graves. It includes all of its most famous properties, and the southern suburbs of the city Bordeaux itself.

    In French "graves" is a term used to indicate gravelly soils.

    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 intrigue. 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" called botrytis, can have lush stone fruit and honey characteristics.

    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 astute 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, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce or even fried chicken.

    CGM41509_1999 Item# 44768