Chateau Haura Graves is one of the more underappreciated Estates in the Professor Denis Dubourdieu stable. Haura Graves is on gravelly hills in Southern Graves. The hills host 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 30% Merlot. Haura Graves is a wine to drink in the medium term, 7-10 years from vintage is good. In the best years though, Haura Graves is drinkable from release.
Denis Dubourdieu a professor of Oenology at Bordeaux University. At the same time, he consulted many Bordeaux estates. Upto 85 at one point. These include: Haut Bailly, Giscours, du Tertre, Carbonnieux, Batailley, Pichon Lalande, La Lagune, and Chateau Margaux for Pavillon Blanc. Add to that Chateau dYquem and Lafaurie-Peyraguey (of which he was a minor shareholder).
Dubourdieu is directly responsible for many vineyard and cellars practices. This has led to increased quality in white, red and sweet Bordeaux. In 2016, Denis Dubourdieu received the distinguished Legion d’Honneur from the French government. In the same year, he was Man of the Year from Decanter magazine.
Situated near the Atlantic coast of France. The Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne rivers provide its shape. Cool conditions and frequent rainfall, including during harvest time, make Bordeaux quite a marginal region with vintages frequently ruined by rain or saved from the rain at the last-minute by timely sunshine.
The home of the original Claret that the English fell in love with. Graves gets its name from the large amounts of gravel in the vineyard which gives a lighter, more aromatic style of Bordeaux. Although it is on the Left Bank it more often lines up with the Right Bank on vintage preferences. Graves is capable and often excels at making white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. They are often barrel-aged and live as long as any white in the world.
The noble variety of Bordeaux’s left bank. Firm tannins, a streak of acidity and punctuated by flavours of cassis, violets, spice and leather. The best examples can age for the long term. Although Cabernet does often require blending with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Shiraz to fix the hole it has in its middle palate.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
This year I got to taste the barrel samples for the first time. And while I don’t think 2019 is the vintage of the century. But is of outstanding quality. 2019 is up there with some of the best in the modern era. What’s more, this is the most affordable great vintage of Bordeaux we’ve seen in many, many years. And if you’ve been as lucky as I have and drunk a fair bit of mature Bordeaux, you will know that the great vintages, like 2019, are always a pleasure to drink.