The dry white Graves is always fresh, fruity, and very aromatic with scents of box, laurel, peach, apricot, citrus fruit, ivy, mint, vanilla, toast, and almond. If drunk when young the acidity of Graves Blanc Sec is rather sharp. Drinking temperature for this white French wine: 10-12°C(50-53.6°F).
Genuine Graves Superieures are superb but you will not find them among the cheaper wines. Expect to pay about double the price of the special offer wines. These sweet (moelleux) to liquorous French wines are very aromatic with suggestions of hazelnut, vanilla, toast, honey, peach, and apricot, and they are velvet smooth. The presence of fresh acidity provides the wine with balance. Drinking temperature for this Graves French wine: 6-8°C (42.8-46.4 °F).
Since 1987, the communes of Cadaujac, Canejean, Gradignan, Leognan, Martillac, Merignac, Pessac, St-Medard d'Eyrans, Talence, and Villenave d'Ornon have borne the appellation of PessacLeognan.
All the grand crus of the former Graves (1959) fall within this appellation, including Chateau Haut-Brion. There are a total of 55 estates and chateaux that bear the Pessac-Leognan AC. This French wine produced from these is generally of higher quality than the rest of Graves. This is partly due to the poor soil of Pessac-Uognan, to the hilly landscape, ideal situation of the vineyards, good drainage, and adequate water in the lower strata.
The total production area of Pessac-Leognan amounts to 950 hectares of which almost half has been replanted since 1970. At that time the vineyards of PessacUognan were threatened with suffocation from the smoke of the expanding city of Bordeaux. The survival plans of the remaining growers (almost
Classe red all owners of grand crus) resulted in their own AC recognition in 1987. Since that time the vineyards have been well protected against further expansion of Bordeaux. This French wines belong in the top category but remain affordable.
Pessac-Leognan Blanc is always a dry French wine. Sauvignon Blanc dominates here with the possible supplement of Semillon. The colour is a clear pale yellow to straw and the nose is particularly seductive: vanilla, toast, lime blossom, broom, grapefruit, apricot, peach, quince, mango, lychee, butter, and almond. The taste is fresh, fruity, fatty,and rounded. Drink this Blanc French wine at temperature: 12°C (53 .6°F) .
Pessac-Uognan Rouge is of exceptional quality. The colour is intense and exciting dark purple to carmine for a this French wine. When young there is a bouquet of ripe fruit such as blackcurrant and plum, together with vanilla, toast, almond, and a characteristic smokiness. These change as the wine matures to humus, prune, game, and truffle. Most wines use Cabernet Sauvignon as their principal grape with some Merlot and Cabernet Pranc. This French wine consequently keeps well. Drink this French wine at temperature: 16-17°C (60 .8-62.6°F).
This is Bordeaux’s newest AOC. Because the vineyards are located within Graves, wines produced here can also be labelled with any of the region’s AOCs. Seeing their region threatened by urbanization, Pessac Leognan’s producers worked with great perseverance to obtain a specific AOC. A number of factors made this a logical step. In this part of Graves, with remarkable consistency, the soil is particularly gravelly and typical of the region. The wines stand out by their quality—confirmed by fifteen editions of the Feret guide and their soaring prices. Historically, as one of the first Bordeaux vineyards, Pessac-Leognan also deserved recognition.