Is Sauternes only for Christmas? Indeed, Thomas Jefferson himself considered it as “the wine above all wines” of Bordeaux. Sauternes, thanks to its exceptional nobility, is not only reserved to festivities of the end of the year. So let’s return on the characteristics of this sweet wine !
Sauternes : The Best of Sweet Wines ?
Do you know that the sweet wines category includes several regions of France? Some of them have a higher residual sugar content per liter. In general, they are superb wines and can remain in cellar for many years while continuing to reveal their fantastic and greedy aromas. Thus, they include Sauternes, Jurançon or Riesling. But as a good defender of Bordeaux wines, we will focus here only on Sauternes. This wine too often affiliated to Christmas.
The production area of ??the Sauternes appellation is located on the left bank of the Garonne, south of Bordeaux. It spreads along both sides of the Ciron River, making Sauternes a world exception. In fact, it is a very wild natural area because the trees protect the Ciron River from the sun and allow the water to stay cool, even during the summer. Thus, the morning mists are formed and promote the development of the fungus Botrytis cinerea, essential for the production of Sauternes. Indeed, the specific work of botrytis on the grape multiplies the aromatic molecules which will then be fully revealed to the fermentation. Thus, the effect of botrytis goes hand in hand and even accelerates the effect of evaporation of water inside the grape. The concentration of aromas is only multiplied at the tasting!
Also, the heart of the appellation belongs to a plateau inclined to the east. It has for substrate oyster limestones, marls or clay sands, all of tertiary age. The soils have a dominant white hue that captures perfectly the solar radiation for the greater good of the vines. The four grape varieties of the appellation can be used without a rule of proportion according to the properties: Muscadelle, Sauvignon, Sauvignon gris and Sémillon. For example, the fabulous and renowned Château d’Yquem plays on the association of Sémillon and Sauvignon.
The Sauternes appellation was also one of the first to become involved in the eco-responsible management of the vine. As early as 1996, Château Guiraud was the first Premier Cru Classé to practice sustainable viticulture until it was consecrated in 2011 with the “Organic Agriculture” certification.
vintage 1997 is considered as one of the best vintages of the Sauternes appellation. Moreover, the Château Rieussec, Premier Cru Classé owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild demonstrates this. Counted among the most qualitative of the appellation, Château Rieussec offers captivating notes of candied apricot with a hint of honeysuckle.
Sauternes : a wine of all occasions!
Too often characterized as a “Christmas Wine”, Sauternes has many qualities that allow it to accompany a wide variety of dishes. Thus, it has long been reserved for desserts because its residual sugar and its candied fruit aromas designates it indeed for the role of stooge for meals. But a few years later, thankfully, it was discovered that his association with foie gras was absolutely fantastic. But no need to wait for a great occasion and a pantagruel meal to enjoy a glass of this elixir! Indeed, Sauternes marries wonderfully with white meats as chicken with cream or a peach duck and even Roquefort cheese! I will even suggest you to experiment with this tajine chicken with apricots, prunes and almonds … Believe me, it’s a pure delight! Original? No more than to imagine tasting Sauternes in … cocktail as an aperitif! And yet, Château Lafaurie Peyraguey offers us its “SweetZ” cocktail to accompany the warm summer evenings!
So convinced? For all budgets and for all occasions, Sauternes will quickly become the ideal partner for a friendly moment … So do not hesitate to contact us for an offer on our range of Sauternes by clicking here! And finally, see you in a month for our article highlighting the wines of the appellation Barsac!Posted: