I don’t drink enough Sauternes (or Barsac). No one does, which is why this – one of the world’s great wine styles – is relatively under appreciated. If you bought lots of top Sauternes en primeur a decade or two back, you’ll probably have lost money. If you’d bought top red Bordeaux, you’d have made some. I just tried a couple of nice examples, from half bottle.
Château Doisy-Védrines Sauternes Grand Cru Classé 2007 Bordeaux, France
This is actually a Barsac, but labelled as Sauternes. Full gold in colour, this is showing beautiful balance, with fresh apricot, honey, hay and citrus notes. It’s mouth-filling and sweet with some brioche and toast, but the focus is the pure fruit. Some conference pear mixed in with the apricot, as well as some passionfruit. Good weight and intensity, and still quite primary. Really nice. 94/100
Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey 1er Cru Classé Sauternes 2003 Bordeaux, France
From the very hot 2003 vintage, this is a deep gold with some bronze in colour. It’s viscous and powerful with intense marmalade, apricot and peach notes, as well as some table grape/raisin hints. There’s a lot of sweetness, and great concentration, finishing with brisk acidity and a spicy twist that keeps things balanced. A remarkable wine, that’s probably drinking at peak now, while there’s still some fresh fruit balancing out the savoury, spicy flavours. 94/100
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