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WINE OF THE WEEK: Château Courbin Héritage Graves Blanc 2022, Bordeaux, France

£13.95, Stone, Vine & Sun

There were three white wines from UK wine merchant Stone, Vine & Sun that I wanted to make Wine of the Week. In the end, I settled on this Graves Blanc because I think it maybe the least known. It’s also very good with food, more of which below.

For the record, and your shopping list, the other two wines were a Rolle (aka Vermentino) from Languedoc, which apparently already sells in splendid volumes, including to Michelin-starred restaurants, and a single-vineyard Soave, Vigna Cengelle, which, like the Graves, is food-friendly as good Soave always is, but it’s a wine that has been praised – rightly – elsewhere.

So, Château Courbin Héritage it is. And what a lot this unassuming-looking wine packs in: creamy roundness, freshness and energy, a touch of oak, peach, linden flowers, herbs, almond cream, red apple and a hint of white pepper-cum-ginger. Complete, satisfying and properly dry.

It’s predominantly Sémillon, with 15% Sauvignon Blanc to add zip, and it’s aged on lees with a small portion in barrel adding texture, depth and complexity.

The people behind it are two brothers, viticulture and oenology graduates Franck and Stéphane Courbin, whose 16-ha estate, equally divided between white and red, is in Budos, a village about 45km south of Bordeaux that is, they point out, rich in an increasingly scarce resource: water. The domaine has HVE certification (Haute Valeur Environnementale), so they’re doing the right thing by the land.   

You can drink this Graves on its own, but it is, as I say, a very companionable food wine, with fish such as halibut, salmon, cod or turbot, with scallops, with roast chicken or pork, firm or semi-firm cheeses (cow or sheep’s), cheese-accented quiches and gratins, creamy or vegetable pasta dishes or creamy chicken dishes.

According to one of the Stone, Vine & Sun team, it's also surprisingly delicious with a pork pie. It would also do pretty well with, sorry to mention it, roast turkey and all the add-ons. Christmas sorted? 13.5%. Empty bottle weight: 519g

Château Courbin Héritage Grande Réserve Graves Blanc 2022, Graves, Bordeaux, France


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