This fine tuned and well structured Claret is made by the Dubrey family who have been wine makers in Graves since 1650. La Tuilerie neighbours their Chateau d’Ardennes in Illats and was previously produced as their Second Wine. We’re very pleased to introduce this to the UK for the first time. The Dubreys bought the long forgotten estate in the late 1960s with an eye on its potential – the vineyards were known to have belonged to the 16th century Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac, niece of the famous French writer Michel de Montaigne. The estate was renowned for its wines in the 1870s and was quoted in the famous work ‘Bordeaux et Ses Vins’ by Cocks and Feret. The Dubrey’s foresight has paid off and the wines they produce on these deep gravel beds (from which Graves takes its name) are a lovely expression of their terroir.
Illats sits on the edge of the Landes Forest and the name ‘Ardennes’ in Old French meant a place that men had deforested before planting vines. The countryside has a deep rural feel to it here and its history is very old indeed. The Hountetes megaliths lie deep in the surrounding woodland on what’s thought to be an ancient Celtic migration route from the Pyrenees to the Garonne; predating the Roman roads and Pilgrims Way. Graves itself claims to be Bordeaux’s oldest vineyard and is considered to be the birthplace of Claret.
Being such a polished wine La Tuilerie simply sings with food. It pairs well with white meats and feathered game; turkey, guinea fowl, pheasant, goose and chicken. Delicious with pork and lamb (either roasted or braised) this Graves is also excellent with dishes based around roast butternut squash, caramelised onions and red peppers.