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Sauternes

Sauternes wines (from the AOC appellation) have their place at the table of the French, especially during holidays and major events. Over time, they have become a reference in the world of sweet white wines.

In this article, we provide you with all the information you need about these quality wines.

The Sauternes Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée

The Sauternes AOC area is located on a stony territory, about thirty kilometers from Bordeaux on the banks of the Gironde and Garonne rivers. It benefits from a unique microclimate, favourable to the development of noble rot, under the action of a fungus called Botrytis cinerea. Indeed, these sweet white wines are produced in five communes, which are Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignac and Sauternes.

A modern style

Sauternes AOC sweet wines have a modern, opulent and sweet style. They are essentially characterized by an aromatic power and a suave freshness, rarely found elsewhere.

The character of Sauternes wines

The character of Sauternes wines (AOC) translates into a subtle sweetness and floral notes. They are mellow and harmonious wines, which offer a velvety sensation.

The conservation of Sauternes wines

Depending on the vintage and the classification, the age of Sauternes can go up to more than 50 years. Various parameters can modify the quality of this one, such as the variation of the humidity and the temperature. It is therefore advisable to keep your bottle at room temperature, between 12°C and 20°C.

Three levels of quality

We distinguish 27 Crus in total, divided between the Sauternesand Barsac appellations. First, the Premier Cru Supérieur category comes first, with Château d’Yquem (unique). Then there are 11 Premiers Crus and 15 Seconds Crus.

The grape varieties of Sauternes

Three types of grape varieties can be brought into production, without proportional requirements.

Grape variety La Muscadelle

It is a traditional type of grape variety, which is cultivated in the south of Bordeaux under severe conditions. Indeed, Muscadelle offers floral aromas to the wine (notes of acacia, hawthorn, rose, violet, etc.). Even if it is used in reduced proportions (5% of the composition of Sauternes), its presence is still required by the producers.

Grape variety Semillon

Semillon is grown on gravelly vineyards. With a thin skin and an exotic and fresh smell, it is used to make sweet wines. As it ages, this type of grape develops complex aromas of honey, hazelnut and acacia flowers.

Grape variety Sauvignon

Sauvignon has been voted one of the best French white wine varieties. Indeed, it owes its excellent reputation to its consistency and juiciness, so appreciated by wine lovers. In addition, it develops rare aromas, such as boxwood citrus and fig leaves.

Food and wine pairing to accompany a Sauternes wine

The wines of Sauternes (AOC) go perfectly with many dishes:

  • Goose or duck foie gras
  • Crustaceans: crabs, shrimps, lobsters and crawfish
  • Red meats: beef, pork or lamb
  • Red fruits and sweet pies
  • Spicy dishes of Asian influence

Sauternes wine properties (AOC)

Discover the different Sauternes (AOC) wineries, from the most to the least known.

We present below the most famous Sauternes wineries.

Château d’Yquem (Property: LVMH Group)

This castle was founded in 1593 and has belonged to the Lur-Saluces family since 1785. For over 35 years, Count Alexandre de Lur-Saluces has been at the head of this wine estate. The latter perpetuates the family history, based on a philosophy inherited from a large lineage of Bordeaux winemakers.

The Château d’Yquem estate covers 113 hectares, but only a few hectares are planted with vines. Thus, this one raises two grape varieties: 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc.

Château la Tour Blanche (property : Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine)

Created in 1855, this château is inseparable from the men who have contributed to its reputation. The first is Saint Marc, the lord of La Tour Blanche who gave it his name. However, it was Frederic Focke who invented the Sauternes sweet wine, with a view to giving the estate a new lease of life.

Thewine estate of La Tour Blanche covers 70 hectares, of which only 40 hectares are planted with vines. It benefits from a set of climatic and geological circumstances, brought together in a rare balance. It is for this reason that La Tour Blanche is considered a “genius of the place”. As for the method of cultivation, it has remained traditional. The only compost used is farmyard manure.

Château Suduiraut (property : Axa Millésime)

Château Suduiraut has existed since 1580, under the name of “Cru du Roy“. It was burned during the Fronde, before being rebuilt in 1670 by Count Blaise de Suduiraut. Then, its management was entrusted to a nephew of the family, the Baron de Noaillan Jean Joseph Duroy.

Located between Sauternes and Preignac, near the bank of the Garonne, the winery is currently managed by teams who are trying to bring innovation to it. Indeed, it covers a total of 200 hectares, including 92 hectares of vines. In addition, it includes fabulous French gardens, designed by the famous Le Nôtre.

The other properties are Chateau LAFAURIE-PEYRAGUEY, Chateau CLOS HAUT-PEYRAGUEY, Chateau de RAYNE-VIGNEAU, Chateau GUIRAUD, Chateau RIEUSSEC, Chateau RABAUD-PROMIS, Chateau SIGALAS-RABAUD, Chateau d’ARCHE, Chateau FILHOT, Chateau de MALLE, Chateau ROMER DU HAYOT, Chateau ROMER, and the Chateau LAMOTHE – GUIGNARD

There are several wineries in the vicinity of Sauternes which ensure the production of wine, in the rules of the art. We cite the following Chateau du Mont, Chateau la Bouade, Clos haut-Peyragey, Chateau de Myrat, Chateau Belair, Chateau Clemens, Chateau d’Armajan des Ormes and Chateau Crabitan-Bellevue

To conclude, we can say that the Sauternes wines proposed by Express Wine will delight the lovers of great wines and will sublimate their agreements. We advise you to take a walk in the vineyards of Sauternes, for a total immersion in the heart of an exceptional territory. Find our diversity of Bordeaux wines.