In a nutshell: A smooth and elegant, biodynamic Bordeaux from the Côtes de Bourg.
The lowdown: Chateau Les Graves de Viaud occupies 15ha of hillsides in the heart of the Côtes de Bourg on Bordeaux Right Bank. They are Demeter certified and have been practising biodynamic viticulture since 2010, no ploughing takes place in the vineyards, the use of sulphur is minimal, and a large scale tree planting programme is taking place on the estate to enhance biodiversity. Their 'Terroir' is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot aged for 18 months in large oak barrels and from the excellent 2016 vintage. This is a brilliant expression of the land, the fruit and a subtle approach to winemaking. An abundance of fresh, ripe red and dark fruit aromas lead onto a rich, smooth and elegant palate with those ripe fruits and that freshness really coming through. Well integrated tannins and a juicy, long finish round out this cracking red Bordeaux.
When to drink: Great with simple steak frites or sausages, or try with richer duck dishes, roast lamb or mild brie or camembert cheeses.
Château Les Graves de Viaud is located in the heart of the Côtes de Bourg region which sits on the noth bank of the Garonne facing the Médoc. The modest 15 hectare estate runs along a ridge which has an excellent southerly aspect and the soils towards the top of the hillside are deep and rocky.
The estate can trace its origins back to 1850 and for many years until the early 1990s their fruit was sent to the local coop in Pugnac. In 1994, after building their own winery, they started producing in their own right. And this was quickly seen as a good move with their first vintage getting an honourable mention in Les Grands Vins de France. In the following years they went on to earn several awards.
In 2010, Philippe Betschart and his family took over the property. Philippe comes from a long line of his family involved in the Bordeaux wine industry. They farm bio-dynamically and are intent on creating the best possible expression of the local terroir, with the bare minimum of outside interventions in the grae growing and winemaking process.