91-93/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Medium colour. Toasty flinty/ pear/ apricot vanilla aromas. Very attractive. Fresh touch flinty/ reductive with pear/ apricot/ vanilla flavours, lovely richness and density, marked acidity. Lime/ pear at the finish.
90–93/100 James Molesworth,Wine Spectator. Quite spicy, with a Muscat-like edge to the orange zest, nectarine, tangerine and peach flavors. Features lots of toasted almond on the finish.
92-93/100 James Suckling. This is really intense with dried apricot and lots of botrytis spices from nutmeg to white pepper. Full body, very sweet and a rich finish. Best Filnot in years.
88-90/100 Robert Parker Jr. Although recent vintages of Filhot have been disappointing, I am more optimistic about the 2011. There is an attractive nutty note on the bouquet that is crisp and defined. The palate is nicely balanced with fresh, honeyed fruit while the viscous finish lacquers the mouth with the chutzpah that has been absent of late. I hope that this Sauternes remains on course throughout its barrel maturation because Filhot needs to be up there with the greats. Drink 2014-2020.
17/20 Julia Harding, Jancis Robinson. Mid gold. Complex, characterful nose, oaky spice, grapefruit and a lightly reductive/smoky edge. Limey and a hint of bacon fat. Mouthfilling fruit and savoury oak on the palate, note of linseed. Even with all that power, there's freshness too. Great length. Hardly subtle or elegant now but packs so much flavour and richness and a moreish bitter-orange aftertaste.
16/20 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Decanter. Tasted twice, one bottle showed very well, while another was dumb. This year there is more richness in the mid palate than usual. Elegant and focused. Drink 2018-2030.
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.