The Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region of France is nestled in the eastern half of the country about halfway between the Loire Valley in the west and the Pyrenees to the east. The river Dordogne runs through the region and the “Department” of Dordogne takes its name from there. Now, a “Department” is a level of the French government, and in a way, it is similar to what we would call a village or a hamlet here in the United States. Here, Graves De Vayres is considered an “appellation,” a strict set of rules which govern how a wine is made, grapes used and the region from which it comes. Chateau Fage Winery is located on the shores of the Dordogne in the Graves De Vayres Appellation.

CHÂTEAU FAGE GRAVES DE VAYRES is a red Bordeaux, a most classic and popular red wine. It is a blend, highly regulated, of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, each lending their own notes to the finished product. Bordeaux is also a very romantic wine with a history dating back 2000 years. In the Middle Ages the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry Plantagenet opened the region both to England and to the world. Built during the nineteenth century, Chateau Fage overlooks the Souloire occupying roughly 111 acres. Recently acquired by the Glotin family, it has become one of the most produced Bordeaux from the region with a commitment to quality and excellence.

This region of France, Entre-Deux-Mers translates literally as “between two seas.” The landscape is mostly fertile and green although much of the countryside is now covered with vineyards as more and more land is given over to viticulture. It is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in France with history going back better than 2000 years when it was conquered, not surprisingly by the Romans who planted the first vines. We owe so much to that empire! Later though, it was the Benedictine Monks who kept the wine production alive during the Middle and Dark Ages of Europe. Vines were originally planted for religious purposes but were later planted more extensively as trade grew with England and the rest of the continent. A wide variety of soils makes this area an excellent region for many styles of white wine, with the influence of the Merlot grape adding some volume to the reds.

CHÂTEAU FAGE GRAVES DE VAYRES is a true Bordeaux wine with flavor and body that a good wine should feature. In the bottle it is attractively labeled, busy enough so it does catch your eye, which is always a buyer’s consideration. The cork is withdrawn with a loud popping as it should and one immediately senses the aroma of the grape and hints of dark fruits with a definite scent of licorice giving it a warm variety and character. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, with a sprinkling of Malbec and Petit Verdot gives this wine finesse (a nice term here) with some warm length and pronounced legs. No sweetness at all, this is a good dry red that will compliment your table either with dinner or with appetizers. It has enough body to accompany beef dishes but really works best with some lighter fare such as roasted lamb. It would be a very nice accompaniment to a charcuterie tray with dried sausage, ham, prosciutto and capicola, along with roasted peppers and some cheeses. We did try it with some German sausages and red cabbage. The pairing was okay, but in all, the acidity of the cabbage kind of overwhelmed the wine so it wasn’t a great choice. Then, that is what life is all about: live and learn. That goes double when wine is concerned.

In all, this is a very pleasant wine. I would give it a rating on my personal scale of 8 out of a possible and an unattainable 10 grapes.
Alcohol – 12.5%
Price – $14

Published by JC home

Retired and loving life in North Carolina. Writing was always an interest, so I decided to give this a try. Former teacher, Wall Street Brokerage Associate and Postmaster for USPS.


  1. always good to find a French Bordeaux appellation with a nice price in spite of importation, furthermore if it’s good. Also cabbage is always hard to pair with wine with acidity and sulphur aromatic notes. I gave up and now if we eat a strong cabbage meal we just have some beer with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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