Graves is an interesting French wine appellation. It’s in Bordeaux, but this AOC (appellation d’origin côntrolée) is just as well known for its whites as for its red wines.
We were having dinner at the new house of the Cabinator and Glorious T, and so the focus was on red wine. Cabinator is branching out into French wines and picked up this bottle upon the recommendation of Austin Beeman at Walt Churchill’s Market in Maumee.
This 2009 Chateau Tour Bicheau is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet. It is aged 12 to 14 months in oak barrels, a fourth of which are new.
“Graves” is French for gravel and the AOC takes its name from the gravelly soil. The vineyard is on a gravel outcropping. Clay and limestone soil is also found on the slopes in the Tour Bicheau vineyard. It is a 5th generation family winery that dates back to the late 1876. The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand.
Upon first sip, the Merlot takes control for a very smooth experience. This is a beautifully balanced wine. It has some mineral tones with generous blackberry flavor notes. It’s got loose tannins and a very satisfying finish.
Tour Bicheau offers two red wines, this one sells for $19.99 and is a “Grand Vin de Bordeaux.” Their Grand Vin du Chateau Tour Bicheau is pricier and is made from their oldest vines.
This is a super satisfying sipping sensation – a delicious Bordeaux from a top French region. We recommend that you buy at least two. Enjoy one now and save one for a year or two.
Rating: 4 of 5 Value: 5 of 5