September 1, 2008

Chateau Porteny Graves 2004

Bill Dowd photo

The Bordeaux region of France has one of those magical names that conjures up a wide range of rich red wines and mellow whites. Delving deeper than the most well-known names can broaden your palate with wines from some of the lesser-known chateaux, not terribly difficult since the region boasts more than 6,000 of them. Here's just one example.

Chateau Porteny Graves 2004

This white Bordeaux gets its name from the Graves soil, a mixture of clay, sand and gravels, located just outside the town of Bordeaux. Two-thirds of wines from Graves chateaux are whites. (This is an appellation Graves controlée; the appellation Graves supérieurs is reserved for sweet white.)

Porteny's offering is a blend of sémillon, sauvignon and muscadelle grapes. The initial nose is vaguely floral but also gives off a hint of those intensely-fruity Mexican limes.

It is somewhat dry and slightly tart wine, with immediate grapefruit and lemon notes. I paired it with a vinaigrette-dressed salad of maché and baby spinach, campari tomatoes and crumbled gorgonzola. It also held up nicely to marinated, grilled chicken with fried eggplant and rice.

Suggested retail price: $9 for the 750ml bottle.

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