The appearance was clear, medium intensity gold, with thick, clear legs.
The nose was clean, medium (+) aroma intensity. The aromas were characteristic of orange blossoms, orange zest, apricot, lychee, honey, pastry, ginger, marmalade, and spice. The wine was still developing.
On the palate, the wine was sweet, but not cloying. The acidity was medium (+), low tannin, medium alcohol, medium (+) body, pronounced flavor intensity with a pleasantly long finish.
The quality was outstanding. Drink now with potential for aging. The price category is premium, over $30 a bottle.
We enjoyed this wine over a period of 7 days. Only on the 7th day did it start to show some signs of fatigue.
Why does Sauternes taste like this?
Sauternes wines come from the Sauturnais region southwest of Bordeaux, France. The wines are comprised of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, with most of the blend comprising of Sémillion.
The Sémillon grape is susceptible to a disease called Botrytis Cinerea. Botrytis is a fungus that lives in the soil. In the fall, it infects the grapes. The infection is desirable and brings spiciness and tropical fruit aroma to the wine. The hyphae (tentacles) of the fungus penetrate the skin of Sémillon and cause liquids to ooze from the grape. Once the grape are sufficiently infected, the partially desiccated grapes are picked by hand and placed in these crates and taken to the wine cellar for fermentation.
Following fermentation, the grapes are aged in oak barrels. When the wines are young (typically 3-5 years old, they taste primarily of fruit and honey. As the wines age (they can age for many years - some vintages can age for 100 years or more), they develop secondary and tertiary aromas like nuts, smoke, and honeycomb.
Chȃteau Guiraud Food Pairing
Classically, Sauternes pairs well with tree and stone fruit desserts like peach pie, poached fruits, mousse, custards, and blue cheeses. Sauternes are also frequently paired with fois gras and other fatty, rich organ meats.
Sauternes does not pair well with ddesserts that are sweeter than the wine, most people will find that very sweet desserts paired with wines will make the wine taste sour and not good.