In the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, there was basically one avenue for a woman to claim power — inheritance. Accounted as a fiery, willful babe of the 12th century, Eleanor wasn’t about to let hers amount simply to a king-catching dowery and a roster of royal offspring. History’s only queen of both France and England, she used her political prowess to amass one of the most powerful landholdings of the time, including the wine-producing region of Bordeaux.
Having a particular fondness for the wines of Bordeaux herself, Eleanor installed them as the quality standard throughout courts in both her kingdoms and beyond, simultaneously building the system of merchants and brokers which would grow the export of Bordeaux wines to the prominence which would dominate the market for hundreds of years to come.
We raise our glasses to Eleanor, her cherished Bordeaux bev’s, and to the spirit of moving boldly on one’s own terms.
A classic but very accessible white blend of Bordeaux, Puyanché’s 75% Sauvignon Blanc offers lifted notes of ripe green pear, starfruit, and peach juice, while the remaining 25% Sémillon brings a subtle richness hinting at pineapple upside-down cake and banana pudding. Fermentation and aging take place in oak barrels, softly integrating that range of flavors and lending a long, complex finish.
Malbec has had a tendency to go in and out of fashion in Bordeaux, but Eleanor was a big fan of its reliable ripening, rich fruit, and its ability to bring harmony to the all-important Bordeaux blend. In this tribute to Eleanor’s most favored grape, Malbec is the star of the show, accentuating dark plum and prune, blueberry, dark chocolate, black coffee, cinnamon, and sweet, smoked mulch.
‘La Petite Lune’
Embracing the modern style of Bordeaux with expressive fruit atop a backbone of gravelly earth, grapes are hand-selected for ‘La Petite Lune’ by another big Bordeaux name, Stéphane Derenoncourt. Rich, luscious blackberry and plum, red licorice, and dark earth with a full body and a very nicely structured finish. Poised for Eleanor-like longevity, wines of this character are positioning Graves with a newly elevated reputation for Bordeaux rouge.
-Aimee Hutchinson | Wine Manager Top Ten Liquors