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Bordeaux 2009 in bottle: Sauternes & Barsac

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

2009 is a glorious vintage in Sauternes and Barsac too

Don’t let the rave reviews of Bordeaux’s red wines in 2009 distract from the superb quality of its sweet wines in this vintage. Producers were exclaiming from the off here how excited they were by the quality of the harvest here, seen as the most exciting since 2001.

Of all young Bordeaux Sauternes is the most tricky to understand early on. Later harvests and slower fermentations mean that the nascent wines are real infants when they are first shown in the trade primeur tastings in April following the previous harvest. Many wines are still cloudy and there’s the odd whiff of sulphur dioxide. Still, the 2009 Sauternes vintage did look delightful early on but, for me at least, it was difficult to judge the future scale of these wines. Now, nearly two years from the harvest and with the wine in bottle, just as much as the red wines in this vintage, if not more so, Bordeaux’s sweet whites have all advanced substantially and they will fill out and blossom further. Not all the great sweet whites were on display at the UGCB event in London back in October. Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Rieussec are notable omissions in the group of notes below. Nevertheless Chateau Coutet, Chateau Climens, Chateau Suduiraut, Chateau de Fargues were exceptional, with Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau, Chateau Doisy-Daene and Chateau Siglas-Rabaud not at all far behind. The wines are, in fact, wonderful across the board.

Chateau Climens

2009 Pale gold; lovely delicacy; some grassy tones really nicely done; honey and butterscotch on the palate nice race and acid too. Lovely stuff. Wonderfully racy. 96+/100

Chateau Suduiraut

2009 Golden; fresh nose; some honey, elderflower; lots of wonderful botrytis notes; this is exceptionally good; lovely palate; cream and botrytis tones; honeycomb and butter. This is such a great wine. 96+/100

Chateau Coutet

2009 Pale gold; tightly wound and real density; intense palate with honeysuckle and butter tones on the palate; real life and zip alongside considerable strength and sweetness. 96/100

Chateau de Fargues

2009 Deep gold; lifted nose; honey; vanilla pod; unctuous and textured palate; ripe and wonderfully attractive; full style; lots of residual sugar here; big and sweet. 95+100

Chateau Doisy-Daene

2009 Mid gold, fresh looking; fresh creamy nose; honey and butter; elegant and tightly wound; ripe tones on the palate; honey, attractive and nicely balanced between evident sweetness and acid. Should be brilliant. 94+/100

Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau

2009 Deep gold; ripe flavours; butterscotch; full style; full attractive palate; lots of honey and lift, this is big and bold; lots of honeycomb and butterscotch notes. Rayne-Vigneau back on top form here. 94+/100

Chateau Sigalas-Rabaud

2009 Gold; real wax and honey tones; lifted; fat and deep palate; some wax and laolin tones; very ripe flavours and nice acid balance. Looks great. 94+/100

Chateau Guiraud

2009 Pale gold; thick and rich on the nose; very attractive; ripe and rich tones; complex palate with honey, butter and acid balancing the sweetness again; nice palate and will develop well. 93+/100

Chateau La Tour Blanche

2009 Pale gold; fresh but with obvious weight; quite bold and big; lots of creamy notes. Manages freshness and weight. 93+/100

Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne

2009 Mid gold; fresh, some wax and lemon zest alongside gooseberry; ripe palate; fresh and nicely balanced with honey and sweetness; very good effort. 92+/100

Chateau Doisy-Vedrines

2009 Pale gold/straw; fresh honey; good rich palate, nice acid; fuller style than the Dosiy-Daene but without quite the delicacy and race (by comparison). 92+/100

Chateau Nairac

2009 Gold; some VA lift; fat; honey and butter tones; attractive and lifted notes. Not in the top drawer but should be very good. 89-90+/100


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