Sometimes my tasting notes bear no resemblance to the ones I see online. Yes, tasting a wine is as subjective an experience as strolling through a museum filled with abstract art. What I recognize as a cat, you might insist is a cello (ever seen a cat “playing the cello”?). So it was with the Granville-Lacoste Graves. This excellent white Bordeaux is distributed in my part of the world by Kermit Lynch. I’ll have to pay closer attention to him and his choices, because I was impressed by this $18 bottle.
I usually drink Chardonnays and Sauv Blancs with big fruit, so this was a pleasant change. The first taste seemed dry, dry, dry, with almost no fruit, only the slightest suggestion of citrus from the acidity. The main flavor is what I always think of as yeasty and bready. Like that sour aroma that comes from no-knead bread dough after it sits ten hours! Many good Champagnes have this too. I adore it.
Graves is noted for its mineral-laden soil, which imparts a similar flavor to the grapes. I didn’t detect a strong mineral flavor in this wine, but I love Kermit Lynch’s description of the soil: calcareous clay on fissured rock, peppered with red iron, white limestone, and grey flint gravel. Pure poetry! I recommend his webpage just for the pleasure of his writing (or whomever he hired to produce these lyrical odes to wine).
Looking up the tasting notes from various sites online, I find that they tend to mention fruit and flowers, though they stress that these are subtle. Stonefruit, lemon, pineapple, lime blossom (when was the last time these folks smelled a lime blossom???), cotton (what does cotton smell like?), apricot, peach, geranium. Nope. For me it was sourdough bread.
And now let us return to Kermit Lynch and his encomium of Hervé Dubourdieu, who makes this wine and a Bordeaux Blanc from Sauv Blanc and Semillon grapes. When I saw the photo of Hervé, I nearly fell off my chair. Quel Bel Homme!
Yes, my oenological jouissance is achieved. Merci, cher Hervé!
By chance, Kermit Lynch was featured recently in the NYT, giving advice on little-known and delicious wines!
- Kermit Lynch, Terroirist (nytimes.com)