Medium deep colour. This wine showed excellent buoyancy of fruit with candied lemon/ pear drop aromas and flavours, plenty of richness and fresh acidity. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a difference in opinion from the media. There was a whiff of matchstick, but remembering that these are samples rather than finished wines, I gave this a wide berth. The palate structure, overall concentration and line of acidity augers well for this wine. If opinion goes the other way, this may well land up being one of the bargains of the vintage.92-94/100 Andrew Caillard MW, Langton's
Shows some botrytis spice and dried fruit character on the nose. Full-bodied, very sweet and thick, with a dense, almost syrupy finish. Excellent for Filhot. 89-92/100 Wine Spectator
2009, as soon as the wines were made, was greeted by all Sauternes growers as one of the most perfect, or even the most perfect vintage they remember. An exceptional summer, rich in many sunny and luminous days and relatively fresh nights, was completed in perfect fashion for this area by 45mm of rain in the middle of September, allowing an immediate and complete invasion of the famous 'botrytis cinerea' (noble rot fungus) on perfectly ripe berries. Most properties picked their entire crop with just two or three passages in the vines, and got juices far above 20 degrees of potential alcohol, which is an absolute record! As the yield too is a record (25hl/ha or more), the general enthusiasm is easy to understand. The wines are reminiscent of the 1990 vintage with more body and definition, or for older growers, 1949 and 1921. The overall level of my tasting marks is unmatched. Michel Bettane Decanter
Undoubtedly a wonderful vintage for Sauternes and Barsac, some are comparing the vintage to 2001 or even 1921 (even I didn't taste that wine from barrel). Given the quality of the vintage we believe that Chateau Filhot offers great value in what will quickly become an overheated market with escalating prices for the bigger names as in 2001. Stewart Langton
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.