France: Bordeaux

Southern Graves and Sauternes

Home of the great sweet whites - dry whites and reds too
By Jane Anson

This Guide was last updated on 11 May 2010
To explore this Wine Travel Guide, select from the menu on the left


Main grape varieties

Red

Cabernet Sauvignon
The most important grape for the red wines of Graves, it can be difficult to ripen on cooler, damper soils and thrives on the well-drained warm gravel soils.

Merlot
Produces supple wines that develop earlier and also complement Cabernet Sauvignon in the red wine blends. In the Graves region the proportion of Merlot in the blend is higher than in the Médoc.

Cabernet Franc
Often called Bouchet it is a lighter and less intense version of Cabernet Sauvignon, but gives many wines their finesse.

Petit Verdot
A permitted variety, but few blends include it here.

Malbec
Occasionally used as a blending ingredient.


White

Sauvignon Blanc
Dominant grape for the best dry white wines in the Graves AC.

Sémillon
Blended with Sauvignon Blanc, it adds richness, structure and ageing potential to dry whites. Particularly susceptible to noble rot, it is the principal grape for the sweet whites of Sauternes, Barsac and Cérons, accounting for up to 80% in a blend.

Ugni Blanc
Used very occasionally for dry white Bordeaux AC blends.

Muscadelle
Adds perfumed character to sweet wines.


COPYRIGHT AND DISCLAIMER
This information is provided free of charge, however it is strictly the copyright of Wine Travel Guides and its contributors. We try to do our best in keeping our guides and information up-to-date and accurate, but if you notice any mistakes, please contact us. Note that we take no responsibility for any inaccuracies. Thanks for your respect and understanding. For full details see our Terms and Conditions.