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Chateau Les Gravieres (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP96
  • JD94
  • V94
  • JS92
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • WS90
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 100% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from 100% Merlot, the 2018 Les Gravieres is deep garnet-purple and rocks up with gregarious blueberry pie, chocolate-covered cherries and plum preserves scents with nuances of violets, spice cake and mocha. Big, full and decadently fruited, it has a firm frame of super ripe, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing very long and layered.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
This estate hit a home run in the vintage. Their 2018 Château Les Gravières (100% Merlot) reveals a saturated purple color as well as a massive bouquet of crème de cassis, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings, and flowery incense. Inky colored, full-bodied, incredibly pure, and layered on the palate, it has polished tannins and delivers a rare mix of elegance and hedonism. It’s a serious Merlot to drink over the coming 15 years, if not longer. Tasted twice.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
V 94
Vinous
A sleeper in this vintage, the 2018 Les Gravières (100% Merlot) is a very pretty and expressive Saint-Émilion. Freshly cut flowers, rose petal, mint and sweet red berry fruit are beautifully lifted in this very understated Saint-Émilion. Medium in body, refined and supremely gracious, the 2018 has a lot to offer. This is such a gorgeous wine.
Barrel Sample: 91-94
JS 92
James Suckling
A solid 2018 with dark-berry, dark-chocolate and cedar character. Medium to full body. Flavorful finish.
Barrel Sample: 91-92
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Chateau Les Gravieres

Chateau Les Gravieres

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Chateau Les Gravieres, France - Other regions
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The estate has been family owned since it was first created at the end of the 19th Century. Denis Barraud has been in charge of the estate since 1971, and his grandfather, Pierre-Henri Descrambe passed on his love for the vine to Denis.

Chateau Les Gravieres is a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru made from our vines at Saint-Suplice de Faleyrens. It's a dense and concentrated wine with yields of around 35hl/ha and 100% Merlot.

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St-Émilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BMNF526909_2018 Item# 526909