92-94/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Medium deep colour. Marzipan. Crème brulee/ lemon curd aromas with touch of herb. Palate is surprisingly closed for aromas but white peach/ apricot/ herb flavours, chalky/ powdery texture and crisp acidity.
96-99/100 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator. Ripe and unctuous, but with a deliciously racy orange streak running through the core of creamed pear, fig and green plum flavors. Supercreamy on the finish and very long, with honeysuckle and almond notes echoing on and on. A stunner in the making.
89-90/100 Robert Parker Jr. The 2011 Guiraud is missing some of the vivacity and fruit intensity displayed by some of its peers this year, and its bouquet is quite resinous and missing the fruit concentration of others in this vintage. The palate shows more promise, with very fine tension and crisp acidity, although it is not quite matched by the finish, which feels slightly attenuated. I was hoping for more from Guiraud, which has produced some excellent wines in recent years, although both samples were consistent.
18/20 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Decanter. Elegant, refined style, typical of Guiraud. Silky sweetness with finely woven flavours and long finish. Combines finesse with depth. Delicate yet intense, the wine possesses breeding and immense drinkability. Drink 2021-2042.
17.5/20 Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson. Not terribly open on the nose though you can find ripe lemon and apricot plus an oily minerality. Rich, powerful apricot fruit, bitter orange and marked freshness to counterbalance. Zesty in a rich framework, slight pear-grain grip. Pure, lots of power, incredibly viscous. Mouthwatering finish.
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.