92–95-100 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator.Quite ripe, offering a large core of orange peel, date and almond notes, with a toasted hazelnut-filled finish. There's plenty of dried mango and apricot in reserve, with a toasty piecrust note. Powerfully rendered. Needs some time.
90-92/100 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com The 2011 Raymond Lafon was picked from three tries representing six lots (the first and last de-selected for the second label) between September 19 and October 5, the earliest harvest since 1893. It has 149 grams per liter residual sugar and a pH of 3.83. It has an understated bouquet of honey, grilled almond, pineapple and quince aromas.It is a Raymond Lafon that will be beautifully balanced and endowed with a precise finish that neatly offsets sweetness against acidity.
17.5/20 Julia Harding, Jancis Robinson. Intense apricot and apricot kernel on the nose and bitter orange marmalade. Oily mineral spiciness too. Quite savoury and spiced on the palate too. So you almost miss the acidity which runs through its core. Very long finish. Lovely sour freshness at the end with some grapefruit pith to stir it all up.
18.5/20 Jeannie Cho Lee MW.Decanter. Delicacy and detail here displaying the dedication and talent of the Meslier family. Flavours are refined, pure and complex; wine possesses both finesse and charm. Very successful year for this under-valued château. Drink 2021-2047.
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.