Bordeaux Red: Graves Rouge

Graves is perhaps considered the oldest area in Bordeaux to be cultivated, with many wines made within walled vineyards in the city of Bordeaux proper. The Roman poet Ausonius sang the praises of the wine from Graves. In 1305, Bertrand de Goth became Pope, and his wine-producing estate was renamed Château Pape-Clément. There exist land-holding registers from the Middle Ages that there were vineyards throughout the city and harvested intra muros, within the walls of the city. Halfway through the Middle Ages, the governing body of the city of Bordeaux created a group of overseers, the Taverners, whose responsibility was not only to control order, but also to combat fraud of taverns or shops that sold inferior wine as ‘Graves’. All through the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, there are recorded histories of inspector’s activities in the urban vineyards. Although up to the mid-nineteenth century, the Graves appellation produced predominately red wines, it now produces about one-fourth white wine. The vineyards closest to the city itself, to the south, are part of the appellation Pessac-Léognan, where the famous Grand Cru Classé Château Haut-Brion is located. The southern part of the appellation surrounds a few other appellations as well: Cérons is the appellation for sweet white wines in area just north of Barsac, where dry whites and reds still fall under the Graves appellation; and Barsac and Sauternes, which are white wines only, produce sweet late-harvest wines, but if made dry have to fall under Bordeaux appellation. The appellation is 38 miles long and up to 6 miles wide, from Blanquefort in the north to beyond Langon in the south.
  • Chateau de Callac

    This property, purchased by the current owner, Jean-Pierre Riviere in 1988, has been totally refurbished to yield top quality wines: new fermenting cellar for red wine in 1994, an aging cellar accommodating 240 barrels completed in 1997, and a new bottle storage warehouse finished in 1998. The winery completely replaced with the state-of-the-art thermo-regulated stainless vats before the 2002 vintage, so you will see the immense progress this property has undergone in reds very soon. The château practices leaf-pulling, green harvest and hand harvesting to increase the overall and year-to-year quality on their 25-year-old vines. The property’s wines have been very well received in France in Guide Dussert-Gerber 2000, 33 Sur Vin, Guide Hachette (considered the number 1 French wine guide), and La Revue des Vins de France, June 1999.

    This 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon and Merlot is matured in barrels for just over 20 months giving the wine a deep violet red color with a hint of purple on the rim. Nose is powerful and elegant with full red fruits typical of Cabernet Sauvignon. Very well balanced with excellent structure. Drinks well now but will continue to develop for several more years.

    Point of Sale Wine Label Wine Bottle