…a great success. Made in an elegant style, it is not a blockbuster... well-delineated, with wonderfully sweet aromas of creme brulée, pineapples, apricots, and white flowers… not as sweet as the biggest/richest Yquem vintages, but it is gorgeously pure, precise, and strikingly complex. Already approachable, it should evolve for 30-50 years ... without a doubt. 95 points, Wine Advocate (10/2003).
Pale gold. Knockout aromas of creme brulée, coconut, vanilla bean, honey and orange peel. Lush and seductively silky in the mouth; its creamy, seamless texture makes it seem deceptively accessible today but sound acid structure should keep it going for 20 years or more. Not hugely sweet or tropical but very complex and fine. Firm, hazelnutty finish offers great length… 95 points, International Wine Cellars (8/1998).
Lift and richness and electrified raisins! There's a lot of energy here. Medicine? Sinewy. Not the sweetest. 18/20 points, jancisrobinson.com (5/2011)
…lighter style… with a lean to the orange, apricot, tangerine side of the style range… does not require, or even ask, for decades of age. It's quite tasty today. 93 points, Wine Cellar Insider (7/2016).
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.