Bill Dowd photoThe 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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