The Bordeaux region of Graves is located south and east of the best known Bordeaux regions. Graves soils include a great deal of ice-age glacial alluvial gravels, so much so as to prompt the region to named after them. It is said that the Graves gravel and clay soils influence the robustness of wines made there. Famous white wines are produced in Graves as well (the Graves Sub-Region of Sauternes, well known for sweet wines like Chateau d’Yquem, which is possibly the best known sweet wine in the world), and only one third of Graves wine is red, so finding a Graves Red is unusual and a treat.
Chateau Tour de Rodet Graves 2009 (currently $11.99 in PA, said to be quoted elsewhere at $24.99), is a Graves red featuring a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is not aromatic, but the red fruit notes are apparent, if light and delicate. Flavors in this wine tend toward sweet red berry fruits, currant and an underlying hint of blueberry (common to some Merlot-based wines). The Palate is fleshy despite the wine’s medium to light overall weight. The aforementioned flavors are bright and fresh, without strong tannins that might give reason to lay this wine down. Grilled meats and blue-type cheeses would combine well with this wine. Enjoy it soon, it is a good value at this price.