The 2015 Coutet comes with 153 grams per liter of residual sugar at 13.8% alcohol. It has a fragrant bouquet with acacia honey, citrus scents and a touch of melted butter, all very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive purity, those limestone soils imparting the acidity that defined this Barsac, and lending great precision and tension on the live-wire finish. This is a wonderful Coutet that feels energetic - a compressed spring coil that will drink earlier than the likes of Climens or de Fargues, but has the DNA to age gracefully over 25-30 years. 94-96 points, Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com
"Concentrated, creamy and elegant, this is a beautiful Barsac with delicate exotic-fruit character and a very long, rather oily finish. You could drink it now, but it will gain a lot from extended ageing." 94 Points, James Suckling
Sauternes is home to arguably the most prestigious and long-lived sweet wines in the world. Located 65 km south of the city of Bordeaux at the southern tip of the Graves, the appellation has 2100 ha of vineyards planted on flat, alluvial gravels overlying thick layers of limestone. Although viewed as one appellation, Sauternes actually consists of five communes; Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignanc, and Sauternes with Barsac also a designated appellation in its own right. What makes Sauternes unique is its special mesoclimate caused by the confluence of the Ciron and the Garonne rivers.
The region experiences evening mists in autumn which set in until late morning and are subsequently burnt off by warm sunny afternoons. It is precisely these conditions that provide the ideal environment for the growth of botrytis cinerea – a fungus that attacks the grapes, causing them to dehydrate leaving sweet shrivelled fruit, ideal for sweet wine production. Sauternes wines are made predominantly from Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc with small amounts of Muscadelle. Golden in colour with enticing aromas and flavours of honey, acacia, stone-fruit, candied citrus and marmalade, classic Sauternes is rich, unctuous and beautifully balanced by fresh acidity. Capable of long-ageing, the wines turn deep amber with age, taking on more tertiary caramel flavours over time.