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Sauternes and Barsac tasting notes


Here are the raw tasting notes from tastings stretching back to the 1990s. I wish I had kept notes of some the fine bottles I’d had to taste when I was at university [where I had the opportunity to taste Sauternes and Barsac all the way back to the 1920s]. Most of these notes are from tastings with the Union des Grand Cru de Bordeaux tastings – either their primeurs events held in Bordeaux each spring or from their October tastings held in Covent Garden each year in London.

Château Bastor-Lamontage, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale silver/gold; pungent aromatics; spicy; some honey alongside lime and lemon; some creamy notes; nice weight in the mouth; creamy and attractive with very nice balance and acidity. [99% Semillon, 1% Muscadelle]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2025. 90-91+
  • 2012 Palest straw; waxy tones; some flint; lightly sweet. 80% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 84-86
  • 2011 Pale gold; honey and fresh citrus notes; spices and ginger tones; elegant palate with nice race and good balance. Very good effort. Drink now-2023. 90+[Earlier note] Pale straw; gold; hint of green; some citrus and sherbert notes; crisp; less fab than de Fargues but that’s unfair. Fresh lemony palate with grass. Nice race and acid. Very good effort. Acid and sweetness nicely balanced. 90-92+Tasted UGCB April ‘12
  • 2010 Mid green/gold; some apple tones; wet wool; freshness; quite elegant palate with good acid. Mid weight style. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 88+[Earlier note] Pale gold; some cream and butter but quite simple; quite full but lacks complexity; waxy, full and simple 86-88/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGCB.
  • 2009 Pale gold; ripe nose; some honey, some citrus; very nicely done; some apple; attractive palate, medium weight. 88-90/100 March ‘10
  • 2007 Pale gold; clean, slightly taut and fresh; some Semillon notes; medium sweet and fresh. Good. 88-90+/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2001 – pale straw; wonderful nose of peaches and cream, honey; really well balanced palate; botrytis; sweet but good balancing acidity. Excellent 18.5/20 90+/100
  • 1995 – yellow/orange; slightly maderized Tokaj like nose with crème brulee and marmalade – creamy on palate, sweet and a little cloying as lacks acid. Possibly badly stored example. 82?/100 Sept 04

Château Broustet, Deuxieme Cru Classé, Sauternes

  • 2013 Palest green/gold; smokey; apple notes; spices and apple tones on the palate with some caramel hints; some oil. Needs to knit together a bit more. [65% Semillon, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Muscadelle]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2022. 85-86
  • 2012 Pale straw; some burnt notes; oak on the palate; not sweet. All at sea to me. 75% Sémillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Muscadelle. UGC April 11, 2013. 82-84?
  • 2011 Gold; full aroma, honey and spice; rich palate, feels reasonably sweet style; attractive. Broustet under new ownership and this first vintage looks good. Drink now-2021. 88+[earlier note] Pale gold; hint of green; sturdy nose; lacks flamboyance; some spiky apple notes; some wax on the palate and cream; full of fruit with a little bit of the wet dog. 75% Semillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Muscadelle. 88+ Tasted UGCB April ‘12
  • 2010 Pale gold; some wax, some hoiney; little more straightforward on the palate; full and rich; lacks complexity but good. 86-87+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Pale straw, quite grassy, medium sweet OK. 86-88/100 March ‘10 UGC tasting Bordeaux
  • 2007 Mid straw; fresh; some apricots; clean – in the line of Chateau Liot. Mid weight and elegant. 86-87/100  UGC tasting Oct ‘09

Château Caillou, Deuxieme Cru Classé, Barsac

  • 2011 Pale straw; sturdy Sauvignon styled nose but also with wax and apples; quite piercing; palate pretty good; lacks the complexity of the best but has race and freshness. 88-90 Tasted UGCB April ‘12
  • 2010 Pale straw/green; some wax, quite full nose, honey; mid weight palate, nice balance; sweet, some ripe waxy notes. Good 87-88/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Attractive grassy note; fresh; quite lively on palate with elegance 86-88/100 Tasted UGCB April ‘10

Château Climens, Premier Cru Classé, Barsac

  • 2011 Gold; excellent nose; botrytis; honey and cream; full and lifted; rich palate with lovely gloss; pretty sweet and full. Drink now-2026. 93+
  • 2010 Green gold; wet wool Semillon note; apricot and creamy botrytis notes; layered palate with lots of sweetness and some acid. Nicely done. Balanced with great length and race. Tasted Oct ’12 UGCB. 94+
  • 2008 Elegant gold; guava, melon and peach on the nose; honey too; nicely balanced palate, elegant; not thick or full of sugar but clean and fresh. Tasted Nov ’12 MW Institue. 90+
  • 2007 Gold; thick and creamy on the nose; quite unctuous; very fat palate, rich and pretty thick; attractive wine with nice sweetness. Nov ’11 MW Institute 92+/100 [Earlier note] Mid gold; more butterscotch and crème brulee and apricots; very attractive; more sweetness here but balanced and lively. Good acid. Good 92+/100 UGCB Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Golden; quite mature looking burnt notes with toffee and lift; some cream on the palate; elegant. Tasted June ’13 at Mouton 1855 dinner Vinexpo. 88
  • 1983 Dark gold; wonderful and fully mature Barsac; very soft and rounded feeling only semi-sweet. Excellent 92/100 Oct ‘07

Château Clos Haut-Peyraguey, Premier Cru Classé, Bommes, Sauternes

  • 2013 Deepish gold; wax and wet wool notes; sweet palate; full style with honey notes. Good finish. [95% Semillon, 5% Sauvignon Blanc]Tasted UGCB April ’14 89-91
  • 2012 Quite gold; little dumb at first; cream; quite sweet palate but lacks a bit of zap and zing. Not a great sample or expressive sample. 95% Sémillon, 5% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 86-87?
  • 2011 Pale straw; piercing nose; very fine and clear; some honey and citrus; clean and creamy; lots of botrytis and layers of sugar; lots of residual sugar but balanced by nice acid. Tasted April ’12 at UGCB. 90-92+
  • 2010 Pale gold; quite full, lacks the sophistication of some; palate bold, full and quite sweet; big wine with lots of flavour; maybe lacks a bit of zip and complexity but pretty big 88-90+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Fresh nose; attractive wine; some wax and lanolin, palate fresh and racy; will age well. Good palate well balanced. 90-92+/100
  • 2008 Mid gold; some lift; little melon and peach; mid-weight palate; not heavy. Tasted Nov ’12 at MW Institute. 88+

Château Coutet, Premier Cru Classé, Barsac, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale gold; some fresh grapefruit tones; little reticent aromatically; full palate with attractive waxy tones; round on the finish. Attractive effort if a little subdued on the day. Expect this to uncoil. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 91-93
  • 2012 Deepish straw; honeycomb note; ginger; sweet palate; some biscuit tones; more sweetness than some though sample lacks a bit of zing. Good length. 75% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 88-90
  • 2011 Golden; full aromatics – botrytis tones and citrus highlights; peaches and cream on the palate with a wonderful mouthfeel; very nice tension between the sweetness and the acid. Mid depth. Wonderful Barsac. Very good length. 94+[Earlier note] Brilliant pale gold; full and substantial; botrytis, cream and honey; citrus notes too; concentrated and very creamy in texture; quite fat and sweet; rich vintage. 93-95+ Tasted UGCB April ‘12
  • 2010 Fresh looking green/gold; exquisite nose of creamy botrytis, honey and apricot too; layers and layers to the nose; intense palate; some apricots and desiccated fruit notes; layers again here; very fine palate with excellent length and intensity. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 95+[Earlier note] Pale gold with hint of green; full bodied nose; powerful; botrytis and honey; palate fresh and stromg with good acid; feels fresh and not wallowing in sugar. Wonderful. 94-96+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Lemon straw; elegant nose; honey and lemon, attractive wine good mouth feel and balance. Excellent. 92+/100 March ‘10
  • 2007 Mid gold; lots of fat, creamy botrytis on the nose; layers; grapefruit zest too with wax; fat and creamy palate – very impressive. Weighty. Tasted June ’13 at Mouton 1855 dinner Vinexpo. 93+[Earlier note] Mid gold; more apple and freshness with some botrytis; clean and very elegant. Good. 88-90/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09
  • 1975 golden; rich; full bodied; sweet with botrytis; not complex or elegant but big; great palate intense; much more middle. Excellent 93/100 Apr ‘96

Château d’Arche, Deuxième Cru Classé, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale gold; fine aromatics; tight and elegant; melon and nice botrytis; elegance and creamy tones; elegant palate; feels very fine; not a blockbuster but very nice balance; fresh and attractive. [90% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2025. 88-90+Tasted UGCB April ‘14
  • 2011 Gold with a hint of green; wax, big and full; honey and really big; lots of fruit and peaches and cream notes; very big, unctuous wines. Feels big in alcohol too. Big wine. 90-92+Tasted UGCB April ‘12
  • 2010 Pale gold; fresh, wax, good; feels fresh and alive; palate racy with good acid; feels lively and not at all ponderous. Lively and nice balance. Very good. 89-91+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC

Château Doisy-Daëne, Deuxième Cru Classé, Barsac

  • 2013 Pale gold with green hints; very attractive aromatics; lovely creamy botrytis tones with some grapefruit notes; full, zippy and attractive wine on the palate; lots of flavour and real race and style; very good mouthfeel; creamy. Excellent. Real star [as usual]. [90% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc]. Tasted 1/4/14 at UGCB. Drink 2017-2030. 92-94+
  • 2012 Washed gold green; fresh nose; some candy and fruit salad tones; quite open; fairly full palate with elegance and nice balance. Good effort again. UGC April 11, 2013. 88-90
  • 2011 Golden; some honey and a little wax; full wax and honeyed palate; quite sweet. Nice length. Needs to open up a bit. Drink 2015-2026. Tasted Oct ’13 UGCB. 91+ [Earlier note] Pale straw; fresh; some grass; clean and lean; very attractive and precise; some cream but also restraint; surprisingly weighty palate; bolder and fuller than the nose suggests; honey; balanced and sweet and exceptionally good. Tasted April ’12 UGCB. 93-95+
  • 2010 Pale gold/straw; wet wool, some cream, little dumb; palate very good with length and sweetness. Very nicely balanced between sweetness and acid. Subtle. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 92+[Earlier note] Palest gold; quite waxy, fresh; cut grass and flowers; quite rich palate, sweet with some degree of unctuousness; quite good bite on the finish. Plenty of acid. 90-92/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Pale straw, delicate; some light honey, fresh, medium weight. Attractive and excellent too 90+/100
  • 2007 Mid straw; quite elegant with some Sauvignon Blanc elements; palagte elegant and fresh. Will fill out. Goodish. 88+/100  17/20 UGC tasting Oct ‘09
  • 1995 Gold; spot on nose! Cream, butterscotch with hints of crème brulee, apricot, marmalade but still with freshness. Medium weight; not at all cloying with good length. Hitting its stride. 90/100 April 06
  • 1971 Deep gold; terrific aged Sauternes; still fresh and vibrant with also good complexity; citrus flavours and botrytis; elegant but not drying out. Layer on layer of lush flavour on the palate. Bought for £7.50 from Queen’s College Cellar in 1991. 92+/100 Dec ‘97

Château Doisy Védrines, Deuxième Cru Classé, Barsac

  • 2013 Pale silver with green hints; some wax and citrus tones; nicely fruit driven; candy; waxy, full palate with some creamy botrytis notes; very attractive overall; some sweetness on the finish. Tasted UGCB 1/1/14. Drink 2017-2025. 90-92
  • 2012 Pale green/gold; quite elegant; classic almost; fresh tones with some grapefruit and citrus notes; creamy palate with some sweetness; quite tight and overall feeling of a very good effort in the circumstances. 80% Sémillion, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 88-90
  • 2011 Deep green/gold; peaches and cream tones; very full and forward; lots of layers of flavour on the palate; peaches, apricots; very good indeed; feels pretty sweet and has real viscosity and weight. Big. Drink now – 2026. Tasted Oct ’13 at UGCB. 92+ [Earlier note] Pale straw; full; almost thick; strong and unctuous; layers of ripe flavours; rich style; big; maybe lacks a little bit of zip but a wonderful effort. Tasted April ’12 at UGCB. 92-94+
  • 2010 Palate gold; fresh, apricot and honey notes; botrytis tones; some lift; quite thick and rich on the palate; lots of honeyed fruit flavours. Lacks the race and balance of Doisy Daene – fuller, sweeter style. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 90+[Earlier note] Pale straw; some green tinges; fresh; some grass and candy; alive; feels elegant and racy; lively palate. Quite fat, sweet and full on the palate. 89-91+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Pale straw; lemon, clean, light honey; perfume on the palate, pretty; very good. 90+/100 March ‘10
  • 2007 Gold; fresh; fruit driven aromatics with grapefruit tones; zesty and ctrus tones on the palate; elegance and zap. Fresh style. Tasted June ’13 at Mouton 1855 dinner Vinexpo. 89+[Earlier note] Gold; more lifted; real lemon tones and race alongside a VA whiff; sweet on palate with fatness and goodish length. Nov ’11 at MW Institute. 88+/100 [Earlier note] Mid straw/gold; clean; some honey and butter with some resin and lift; pure, elegant but also quite round. Good 88+/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2005 Gold; legs; very attractive Barsac; some creamy peaches and apricots; some spice and vanilla; mid-weight but perfectly balanced with appealing acidity; ripe and very well balanced. Honey on the finish. Very good. 89-90/100 Sept ‘09

Château de Fargues, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale straw/gold; rich and thick; unctuous with botrytis notes; pretty fat but with acidity to keep the belt tight; quite weighty but with refreshing acidity. Impressive weight. [80% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2028. 92-94+
  • 2011 Golden; unctuous and deep; candied fruit tones; very fat and luscious; very long but maybe lacks a bit of zip but this could simply be the residual sweetness. Still in barrel [30 months ageing]. Certainly a full and lush style. Drink 2015-2026. 92+UGCB Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Bright gold; lovely nose; honey, lift, cream; gloss but quite piercing; real precision; creamy unctuous palate; absolutely sumptuous; real richness but acid too; very, very good indeed. 94-96+ UGCB April ‘12
  • 2010 Pale gold/green; fresh some wax and wet wool; bold, rich palate with lots of oomph and sugar but with sufficient acid to prevent it from feeling flat footed. Rich style. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 93+
  • 2009 Mid gold; grassy, slightly waxy note; medium weight, nicely balanced; medium sweet and very attractive. Fresh here. 90+/100 March ‘10
  • 2007 Mid gold; quite luscious with real richness here; some butterscotch; apples and very attractive. Good to very good 90+/100 18/20 UGC tasting Oct ‘09

Château Filhot , DeuxièmCru Classé, Sauternes

  • 2013 Vivid gold; wet wool; some fruit and honey; palate little dumb. Needs to emerge. [60% Semillon, 36% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Muscadelle]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2022. 85-86.
  • 2012 Pale straw; wet wool; apples some burnt toffee; more wet wool on the palate; spikey. 60% Sémillon, 36% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Muscadelle. UGC April 11, 2013. 83-85
  • 2011 Deep and golden; high toned and quite floral and fruity; some grass too; bite here on the palate, apples; sweetness too. Pretty good effort. Tasted April ’12 UGCB. 89-91.
  • 2010 Pale straw; little reductive and wet dog, wool; attractive palate with good balance and nice acid. Nicely done. 88+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Fresh, some grass and honey; little wet dog on palate; medium sweet. Easy and attractive. 88-90/100
  • 2001 Youthful straw; fine citrusy nose with botrytis; elegance and power here; will age very well. Nice refreshing acid at end. Very good. 90+/100 Nov 05
  • 1999 Golden, quite clean nose; fairly straightforward. Simple. 83/100
  • 1990 Deep gold; lots of VA on nose masking fruit and bot; palate rich and quite easy; bit clumsy. Lacks complexity. 85/100  Dec ‘98

Château Guiraud, Premier Cru Classé, Sauternes

  • 2013 Deepish gold [deepest of the lot]; peaches and creamy tones with crème brulee highlights; broad and full on the palate; nice attack and creamy mouthfeel with zip and freshness; creamy finish. Very good in a fuller and more upfront style. [65% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc]. Tasted 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2028. 90-92+
  • 2011 Steely green gold; fresher with more citrus and spicy ginger tones; beeswax too; elegance to the palate with very good length. Drink now-2026. Tasted Oct ’13 UGCB. 91 [Earlier note] Brilliant pale gold; lots of honey and orange; pretty unctuous; thick; full and thick on the palate; this is the best Guiraud I’ve had in a while; big and thick; lots of creamy mouthfeel. Very powerful and very sweet. Tasted April ’12 UGCB. 93-95+
  • 2010 Pale gold; more depth; some peach and apricot tones; thick, ripe palate, dense and some apricot fruit; spice and honey; powerful wine with sweetness but some balancing acid. Depth here. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 92+[Earlier note] Palest gold; wax, butter, some freshness and honey; sweet and unctuous on the palate but also with race; a little more elegant than the Rieussec. Very good mouthfeel. Excellent 90-92+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Fresh, slightly grassy note; full bodied palate; broad but very good. Lacks the zip of Rabaud-Promis and Rieussec but should be very good 90-92/100 March ‘10
  • 2008 Deeper gold; some butterscotch notes; firmer and stronger and also sweeter style than Climens say. Typically more evolved as is the style here. Tasted Nov ’12 at MW Institute. 89+
  • 2007 Gold; cream, freshness with some citrus tones and honey notes; grapefruit and zesty note son palate; lighter style but with nice zap and acidity. Tasted June ’13 at Mouton 1855 dinner Vinexpo. 90+[Earlier note] Gold; some nutty tones, lift and butterscotch; thick palate with lots of sweetness and body; some zip at the end. Tasted Nov ’11 at MW Institute. 90/100
  • 1990 – deep gold; almost brown; nose initially a whiff of VA and lots of development but opened out; crème brulee organges and demerar sugar. Nice wine; but bit loose and fat with not much botrytis. Bit disappointing given the estate. 88/100 Apr 06

Château La Tour Blanche, Premier Cru Classé, Bommes, Sauternes

  • 2013 Gold; some honey; creamy waxy tones; attractive; brioche and toast alongside the wax and peach notes on the palate; full and zappy with a very attractive creamy mouthfeel. [80% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Muscadelle]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 92-94+
  • 2012 Green/gold; some honey; cream; depth here; nice entry on the palate; quite appetizing; lightish but there is length and a touch of honey on the finish. 92% Sémillon, 5.5% Sauvignon Blanc, 2.5% Muscadelle. UGC April 11, 2013. 88-90
  • 2011 Silver/gold in the glass; ripe and lush aromatics with peaches and honey notes; full palate with good acid and nice zip on the end. Drink now-2024. 92
  • 2010 Pale straw; some grassy notes; ripe quite rich and thick on the palate. Lots of sweetness on the palate. Very big, sweet style. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 90 [Earlier note] Pale gold; fresh, some grass and hedgerow; honey; nice and elegant feel here; full palate, some wax and butter but pretty good; nice length; attractive; bite at end. Very good 90-92+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Light gold, soft, some lemon and fresh; lots of fruit here; good palate; sweet but balanced. Refreshing. Nice race and zip on the finish. 92+/100
  • 2008 Mid gold; little wet wool and semillon notes; quite thick on the palate with honey and apple notes and some wet wool again. Tasted Nov ’12 at MW Institute. 87
  • 2007 Mid straw; toasty lifted nose; trace of volatility; brioche notes; broad palate quite mature style. Burn note son the finish. Tasted June ’13 at Mouton 1855 dinner Vinexpo. 88+ [Earlier note] Mid straw; fresh, some honeysuckle; elegant. 86-88/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Premier Cru Classé, Bommes, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale gold; full botrytis notes; cream; peaches and melon tones; attractive palate really full but with nice tension; elegant finish with some zap and style. Very good effort. [92% Semillon, 6% Sauvignon Blanc, 1% Muscadelle]. Tasted 1/4/14 UGCB. Drink from 2018-2030. 91-93+
  • 2012 Pale green/gold; peachy; some cream; little grapefruit and citrus tones; some lees; quite broad; palate quite full but not that sweet. Elegant style. 93% Sémillon, 6% Sauvignon Blanc, 1% Muscadelle. UGC April 11, 2013. 87-89
  • 2010 Pale gold/straw; fresh, apples, some wet wool; lots of flavour on the palate; ripeness; full yet elegant with nice balance. Feels very nicely balanced. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 93+ [Earlier note] Pale green/gold; clean and attractive, quite fresh and some grass here; palate elegant but with intensity and concentration; sweetness; really very good. 91-93/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGCB
  • 2009 Light gold; lemon and fresh again; mid-weight, some butter, honey; quite high alcohol but good balancing acid. Quite sweet. Quite fat with very good length. 92+/100
  • 2008 Mid gold; some resin, some grassy characters; some lanolin too; more sweetness here; candy on the palate. Tasted Nov ’12 at MW Institute. 88+
  • 2007 Pale straw; oily and thick nose; fat and thick on the palate; feels surprisingly big and fat – maybe lacks a bit of zip and focus. Tasted Nov ‘11 at MW Institute. 89/100

Château Lamothe, Deuxième Cru Classé, Sauternes

  • 2011 Brilliant gold; little reductive; Semillon on the nose; wax and soap; less finesse than de Malle; little cloying maybe but not that bad. Tasted April ’12 UGCB. 87-88+
  • 2010 Pale gold, honey again; bit creamier and quite fat, full style; mid sweetness and some grassy tones; fresh 87-88/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGCB.
  • 2009 Light gold; slightly eggy note; palate clean and fresh; some honey. Not bad once nose clears up. 88/100 March ‘10

Château Lamothe Guignard, Deuxième Cru Classé, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale gold; less complex; some honey and spice; little citrus; more elegant; sweeter palate and less well-balanced. Lacks a bit of zip. (90% Semillon, 5% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle]. Tasted UGCB 1/1/14. Drink 2016-2020. 85-87
  • 2011 Bright gold; money honey, depth and sweetness to the nose; lacks a bit of clarity on the palate. Tasted April ’11 at UGCB. 86-88
  • Pale gold, some honey and butter; nice palate, some sweetness and weight; quite 2010 clean and pure. Nice attractive wine. Mid term 88+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Pale gold; some waxy notes; not as clean as de Fargues. 86-88/100 March ‘10
  • 2007 Golden; honeyed and fat on the nose; double cream; honey and cream tones on the palate too; thick and some sweetness but lacks a bit of zip. Tasted Nov ’11 at MW Institute. 87/100

Château Liot, Sauternes

  • 2005 Pale gold; peaches and cream again here with some citrus elements; very nicely balanced. Will age well. Fresh. 87/100 Aug 09
  • 2003 Pale gold; peaches and cream; lacks the complexity of say Doisy Daene but good mid-weight Sauternes with attractive fruit. 86/100 Sept 06
  • 2001 Pale gold; lovely delightful nose of honeysuckle and citrus; mid weight with good balance and acid. Good. 86/100 Nov 05

Château de Malle, Deuxième Cru Classé, Preignac, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale green/gold; enticing; pure nose; with botrytis notes; quite elegant; with citrus and grapefruit; quite full but with good tension; nice finish and vibrant acidity. Elegant and refreshing. [Harvest 26/9-17/10, 68% Semillon, 32% Sauvignon Blanc]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2028. 90-92+
  • 2012 Green gold; some wax and a little butter; palate elegant and poised with sweetness. Fine and good length. Refreshing. Good effort. 75% Sémillon, 25% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 87-89+
  • 2011 Pale gold; some grass, apples; feels fresh; botrytis here but not over-the-top; palate full yet elegant; some spiky acidity; apples and grass almost floral notes; this is elegant but wonderfully refined. 64% Semillon, 36% Sauvignon Blanc. 90-92 Tasted UGCB April ‘12
  • 2010 Pale straw gold; some wax, quite fresh, some oak; sauvignon notes – herbs and grass; very floral and pretty; nice mid-weight style and elegant and racy palate. 89-91/100 [Semillon 78%, Sauvignon Blanc 22% with tiny fraction of Muscadelle] Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Light gold; some butterscotch; clean; fresh; very elegant but with depth here. Should be very good. 90-92+/100

Château de Myrat, Deuxième Cru Classé, Barsac

  • 2013 Pale golden green; fine, clean some honey; sweetness on entry; attractive; lacks a bit of zip maybe and less enchanting than Doisy-Daene tasted immediately before but good. [86% Semillon, 8% Sauvignon Blanc, 8% Muscadelle]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2023. 86-88+
  • 2012 Pale green/gold; some honey on the nose; feels fullish and attractive; little dryness to the palate [aromas suggested a sweeter wine]; some wet wool; may settle further. 82% Sémillon, 10% Muscadelle, 8% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 86-88+
  • 2011 Green gold; some honey; cream; little reductive note; some grass and fruit along with the sweetness; crisp; feels a bit second draw compared to the very best but potentially very good nevertheless. Tasted UGCB April ‘12 88-90
  • 2010 Pale gold; slightly richer and more oily here; ripe; attractive; some weight; fatness – big simple but quite big 86+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2008 Deep gold; some VA lift and vanilla; solid; palate feels sweet and lacks acid. Tasted Nov ’12 at MW Institute. 85

Château Nairac, Deuxième Cru Classé, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale green/gold; full; waxy; butterscotch notes; some white flower highlights and honey; quite zappy palate with nice acidity; not heavy or overly sweet [at least in balance with the acidity] but attractive and refreshing. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2025. 90-91+
  • 2012 Pale straw; white wine nose; sauvignon and citrus notes; has zap and zest but little sweetness; gooseberry citrus qualities remain. UGC April 11, 2013. 85-86
  • 2011 Green gold; apricots, peaches and cream on the nose; botrytis notes; creamy palate with apricots and ginger spice; very full, forward and attractive; has weight and sweetness; maybe lacks a little acid but nicely forward and lush. Drink now-2026. Tasted Oct ’13 UGCB. 91 [Earlier note] Pale gold; green hints; creamy, buttery nose; lots of botrytis here alongside citrus notes; very attractive nose; crisp palate, some apple and lots of flavour and race; this is exceptional Nairac. Wow. Tasted April ’11 at UGCB. 92-94+
  • 2010 Gold; lush nose; honey, apricot and thick with fruit; definied palate with sweetness which is very well balanced by fresh acid. Very forward and open style which works wonderfully. Very successful for Nairac. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 91+ [Earlier note] Pale gold; butterscotch, wax; full on the nose; positive palate with some candy, butterscotch, heather honey. Nice wine 89-91/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Pale gold, more intense, some butterscotch and waxy edge with grass; racy on the palate, medium sweet. Very good here. UGCB Oct ’11. 90+/100
  • 2008 Mid gold; semillon and lanolin waxy notes; quite full bodied palate; mid weight. Goodish. Nov ’12 at MW Institute. 87
  • 2007 Golden; fine; some volatility; mature perhaps a little tired; elegant palate with butterscotch notes and smoky finish. OK. Tasted June ’13 at Mouton 1855 dinner Vinexpo. 87 [Earlier note] Pale straw; more butterscotch notes; quite forward and rich. Pretty good. Oct ’09 UGCB 88+/100

Château Rabaud-Promis, Premier Cru Classé, Bommes, Sauternes

  • 2012 Quite golden; some wet wool/wet dog; honey; fruit on the palate; some butterscotch; full-ish; again good effort. Quite sweet on the finish. 85% Sémillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 87-89+
  • 2011 Pale gold; thick and creamy botrytis on the nose; some honey and citrus notes; fresh and appetizing, not at all cloying; some Sauvignon notes; open palate with life; honey, cream, hints of brioche; very unctuous. Lovely stuff. Tasted April ’12 at UGCB. 93-95
  • 2010 Pale gold; nice botrytis here; thicker on the nose; wax and butter too; fresh palate, good acid and feels balanced; this is very good. Complex, sweet and fab. 92-94+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Pale straw, clean waxy note; fresh and very attractive honeyed fruit; palate wonderfully attractive; sweet but with balancing acidity. Complexity here. This is very good. Nice length and zest on the finish. Fantastic, one of the best. 94-96+/100

Château de Rayne Vigneau, Premier Cru Classé, Bommes, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale straw; full and rich with some attractive fragrant tones; apricot and wax notes on the palate; full and attractive palate with lots of length. Very attractive and impressive effort. [80% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc]. Tasted 1/4/14 UGCB & 31/3/14 at Ch Meyney. Drink 2018-2028. 92-94+
  • 2012 Pale straw/washed green; nice creamy tones; feels there is depth; peachy fruit; palate has honey and cream; nice sweetness and feels balanced. Elegant and good effort for the vintage. 80% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 88-90+ [Earlier note] Pale green/gold; attractive nose; fine and elegant; honeycomb; mid-weight palate; some length and feels a very good effort. Tasted at Chateau Meyney April 11, 2013. 88-90+
  • 2011 Golden; zesty citrus tones, grapefruit and guava; zesty and racy palate with verve and elegance. Nice acidity here which keeps it fleet of foot. Drink now-2026. Tasted UGCB Oct ’13. 92 [Earlier note] Pale straw; more citrus and honeycomb notes; lots of cream; quite fat, big wine; some citrus notes and orange peel. Very good. Tasted UGCB April ’12. 92-94+
  • 2010 Pale green/gold; some creamy botrytis, apricots, rich and layered with acacia honey notes; quite big and round on the palate with lots of sweetness. Rich style but with plenty of fruit. Sweet on the finish. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB. 92+[Earlier note] Pale gold; fresh, some grass and hedgerow; honey at the back; nice and firm palate with good acid and life. Feels really good 90-92/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC [Second tasting] Golden straw; butter and wax, some botrytis; cream and honey; attractive; sweet palate, ripe and creamy with butter and honey notes; good density and richness. Excellent 91-93/100 Tasted 8 April at Chateau Meyney.
  • 2009 Ripeness on the nose; honey and butter; fresh butterscotch and honey; this is interesting; very good here. Very good and refreshing. 92+/100

Château Rieussec, Premier Cru Classé, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale green gold; creamy butterscotch notes; some ginger and spice; very full of botrytis tones; attractive; full palate; very creamy mouthfeel; nice zip at the end. Complete and well done. [45.5% Sauvignon Blanc, 55.5% Semillon]. Tasted UGCB. 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 92-94+
  • 2011 Golden straw; honey and cream; lots of botrytis; thick and rich; quite a lot of race on the palate with nice acid; terrific zip here. Really nice acid balance. Tasted April ’12 at UGCB. 94-96+
  • 2010 Pale gold; some honey, thickness and some wax; quite sweet, rip and unctuous palate; nice balance and waves of flavour; sweetness but with bite at the back. 93-95/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC
  • 2009 Light gold; very attractive nose; noble; some real botrytis notes here; with wax; palate very fresh and appealing; medium weight and racy. Excellent with wonderful length. 94-96+/100
  • 2008 Bright gold; fine elegant nose with peach and white flower tones, wax beneath; has depth; quite rich palate; weight and works well. Lacks a bit of zip but very good effort. Tasted Nov ’12 at MW Institute. 91+
  • 2007 Bright gold; brioche, some apricot and creamy botrytis; ripe and full palate; nice texture with really good balance; good length with peaches and cream note son the finish. Tasted June ’13 at Mouton 1855 dinner Vinexpo. 93+
  • 2001 Gold; peaches and cream with floral notes and butterscotch; nice elegance; legs; palate unctuous, orangey with honey and marmalade characters but with also real freshness. Excellent length – honey and butter on the finish. Excellent balance and freshness with nice balancing acid.  94/100 Dec ‘09

Château Romer, Deuxième Cru Classé, Fargues

  • 2013 Pale gold; some spice and grapefruit notes; not the depth aromatically of the best; little eggy note; needs to settle; spice and sweetness; lacks bit of zip. Should clean up. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2016-2013. 85-87
  • 2012 Palest green/gold; some candy tones; elegance if lacks sweetness and length. 90% Sémillon, 5% Muscadelle, 5% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 84-86
  • 2010 Pale gold; some wax and cream and honey notes; more bite and with gooseberry on the palate; honeysuckle too; quite rich; real sweetness here with nice bite on the finish. Good. 88+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.

Château Romer du Hayot, Deuxième Cru Classé, Fargues, Sauternes.

  • 2009 Waxy note; some grassy Sauvignon Blanc tones; medium weight and sweetness. Little simple. 86-88/100 March ‘10

Château Suau, Deuxième Cru Classé, Barsac, Sauternes

  • 2012 Pale gold; some cream; body; semi-sweet palate; certainly very different. Aperitif? UGC April 11, 2013. 84-86
  • 2009 Light green gold; fresh, some SB characters; not that sweet but refreshing 86-88+/100 March ‘10

Château Sigalas Rabaud, Premier Cru Classé, Bommes, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale green/gold; full; some butterscotch and wax; quite bold; layers; entry sweet with some spice and zap along with full flavours; very attractive indeed. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2025. 91-93+
  • 2012 Quite gold/grey in the glass; clean; nice honey; elegant; some oil and wax with butter tones; I’m enjoying this. Good length here. Excellent effort. 95% Sémillon, 5% Sauvignon Blanc. UGC April 11, 2013. 88-90
  • 2011 Pale gold; honey; little dumb; some cream, whiff of toffee; crisp palate; fresh; seemingly less sweet but woth balancing acid. Nice pretty finsh. This is deceptively elegant, the acid cutting through the sweetness. Like it a lot. Tasted April ’11 at UGCB. 92-94+
  • 2010 Deep gold; creamy, rich nose; quite thick palate, butterscotch and heather honey notes; rich, sweet and thick. Full and luscious. Oct ’12 at UGCB. 93+
  • 2009 Fresh quality to the nose; grassy quality, medium weight and very attractive. 90-92+/100
  • 2007 Golden; mid-weight; apricots; quite elegant and clean; not oversweet. Excellent balance. 88-90+/100 UGC tasting Oct ‘09

Château Suduiraut, Premier Cru Classé, Preignac, Sauternes

  • 2013 Pale straw; waxy with some citrus and grapefruit notes; full palate with sweetness and complexity; lots going on; quite fat and richly styled; refreshing finish. [92% Semillon, 8% Sauvignon Blanc]. Tasted UGCB 1/4/14. Drink 2017-2028. 92-94+
  • 2011 Deep gold; vibrant looking; peaches and honey on the nose; botrytis notes; ginger spice; very attractive; creamy but acidity keeps the palate lively and has excellent length. Drink now-2026. Tasted Oct ’13 at UGCB. 93+ [Earlier note] Pale golden straw; quite brilliant in the glass; nice botrytis; cream and fine; full bodied, nice crisp quality; good acid; this is very good. Lovely length. Tasted April ’12 at UGCB. 92-94+
  • 2010 Deep gold; lees notes, some wet wool, apricot and creamy botrytis; thick and dense on the palate; oodles of botrytis here; thick and quite sweet but there is lovely acid that gives life. Wonderfully attractive. Tasted Oct ’12 at UGCB 95 [Earlier note] Pale gold; fresh and honeyed; very clean, some floral tones; palate mid-weight; very elegant but also acid to balance. Feels very fine. 90-92+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGC.
  • 2009 Gold; honey; quite thick and full; creamy; lots of depth and weight to the palate; full and creamy; very impressive indeed. Tasted June ’13 at Mouton 1855 dinner Vinexpo. 94+[Earlier note] Again fresh and attractive; some lemon hints; with butterscotch and cream; palate bold and big; this is potentially excellent. Nice zip and balance to the sweetness. Wonderful. 92-94+/100
  • 2008 Elegant mid gold; some butterscotch and cream; this feels right! Some toasty brioche notes; quite rich and ripe yet manages elegance and finesse. Feels one of the best here. Tasted Nov ’12 at MW Institute. 92+
  • 2007 Pale straw; tight on the nose; lemon peel and citrus zest; botrytis and creamy tones; palate sweet and full. Tasted Nov ’11 at MW Institute. 91/100
  • 1990 Amber and developed, all crème brulee and toffee. Excellent. 90/100
  • 1976 Deep golden; crème bruless nose, roasted brown sugar; palate medium sweet; some botrytis; burnt sugar flavours. Little short on finish; drying at end just a little. Good to very good. 90/100

Château d’Yquem, Premier Cru Classé Supérieur, Sauternes

  • 2013 Golden; very lush and rich on the nose; wax and botrytis tones in spades; full and attractive; orange peel, spice and passion fruit notes – fabulous; creamy palate with honey tones; great poise and composure; real depth and many layers here; very good length indeed. Fresh finish. Comparison here with 2007 and 1997. Tremendous effort. [70% Semillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc]Tasted 2/4/14 at Cheval Blanc. Drink 2020-2040. 96-98+
  • 2011 Deep gold; mealy, creamy botrytis; big and thick; crème brulee; brioche, butterscotch; weighty; lovely mouthfeel; round; terrific; layers and great length; overall wonderful balance and length. This is virtually perfect. Tasted April ’12. 96-98+
  • 2008 Pale gold; honeysuckle and melon, very mid weight palate; delicacy, excellent length [v small sample]. Looks to be very good. Tasted Nov ’12 MW Institute. 92+
  • 2007 Golden straw; butterscotch, honey and cream; citrus highlights with lemon zest; elegant palate with real substance; honey, cream and citrus notes and a certain fatness. Excellent! Tasted Nov ’11 at MW Institute. 96+/100
  • 1989 Deep gold; oily and viscous – tears reluctantly fall down inside the glass; massive, bold and unctuous nose; monumental – marmalade, crème brulee and ripe oranges; currently still very primary fruit driven with little complexity of age. Will last forever. Terrific length on palate. 97+/100 Aug ‘05

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