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Chateau Villa Bel Air Graves Rouge 2000

Bordeaux Red Blends from Graves, Bordeaux, France
    0% ABV
    • WE90
    • RP91
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    Winemaker Notes

    A moderately intense wine with rich tobacco aromas and subtle fruit accents.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Chateau Villa Bel Air

    Chateau Villa Bel Air

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    Chateau Villa Bel Air, Graves, Bordeaux, France
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    On December 24th, 1777, Louis Dufaure, Marquis de Lajarte, bought an important property situated in the parish of Saint-Morillon called Bel-Air de Bellevue. In 1791, he undertook a very fine charterhouse of great architectural finesse that can still be admired to this day. On April 28th, 1794, the Marquis de Lajarte was imprisoned and rapidly executed. Bel-Air was sold as a national property.

    After those years of glory, the property was to undergo a long period of negligence on behalf of the various owners who followed, and the vineyard was left to abandon. Only the last owner, Gaston Duthuron, brought the house back to life during the shooting of the "Sagouin" a film made for television in 1972.

    In 1988, the Cazes family, owners of Châteaux Lynch-Bages in Pauillac and Les Ormes de Pez in Saint-Estèphe bought the estate. Jean-Michel Cazes undertook an important renovation program at the property. Daniel Llose, general manager of the properties run by Jean-Michel, along with Guy Delestrac, began by improving the vineyard: the old parcels of land were planted again and the property was entirely equipped with an efficient draining system. The vines were once again well kept, the pruning was regular and tight and the yields well controlled. Since 1992, the white and red wines from the property, the result of strict selection, have been acknowledged for their quality.

    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 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.

    DOB60886_2000 Item# 60886