2018 Vintage Bordeaux Primeur Tastings Part 5- Sauternes and Barsac

Chateau d’Yquem (Superior First Growth) 2016 Vintage

Chateau d’Yquem doesn’t offer Primeur tastings, thus the notes of most newly released 2016 vintage is recorded below.

Vineyard: A hot and atypical Summer featured drought conditions that exceeded any ever recorded at the Chateau, but which did not have a negative effect on the vines thanks to water reserves in the estate’s clay terroirs. Extremely cool autumn weather was conducive to the slow, but thorough botrytisation of the grapes. Emcompassing 4 passes, the 2016 harvest was very long and about 75% of the crop was picked in the last two weeks.

First round pick: 27th & 28th Sep, 4th Oct

Second round pick: 7th Oct

Third round pick: 18th Oct- 22nd Oct (50%)

Last round pick: 28th & 31st Oct, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Nov (25%)

Tasting: Charming golden color, pronounced intensity with ripe fresh, dried and preserved tangerine, golden apple, apricot, and waves of orange blossom. The sweetness along with honey and caramel flavor is gracefully balanced with the refreshing acidity, forming an enticing oily and zesty mouthfeel. Ample toasted nuttiness lingers toward finish.

Figures: 14.2% Alcohol, 135g/L Residual Sugar, 4.8g/L acidity, 3.9 PH

Chateau Climens (Barsac 1st Growth)

Barrel samples are tasted for 2018 Vintage, as well as some old vintages.

“At Climens, quality has never been sacrificed for mere quantity, so that what-ever quantity is now produced in any particular year represents the best possible quality of Chateau Climens for that year.” Wine and Spirit Trade Record, London, 1920

The Lurtons, in the person of Lucien, became the owner of Chateau Climens in 1971. Lucien Lurton came from a Bordeaux family that had been involved in viticulture since his grandfather Leonce, who has bought a certain number of well-known estates. Lucien was a trained agronomist, choosing the estates he bought with great care and bequeathing them to his ten children who shared his passion for wine. In 1992, he assigned Climens to Berenice, his youngest, who in this way inherited the finest property in Haut- Barsac. She initiated a true revolution to convert the estate to biodynamic cultivation, corresponding to her desire to reinforce an even more vital link with the soil.

The unusual microclimate, created by the Ciron, a tributary of the Garonne, favors the production of sweet wines. The small river runs hundred kilometers maintaining a chilly water temperature around 14C, when it joins the warmer water of the Garonne in Barsac, producing mists that persist late into the morning. Basra is a sort of front-row beneficiary of this phenomenon. The mists, together with the sun and wind, play a crucial role in the creation of sweet-wines, by favoring the development of a microscopic fungus- Botrytis cinerea.

Botrytis can also be a disease- the grey or common rot, depending on the microclimate and the stage of maturity of the grape at the moment when the mould takes hold. Only the alternation between damp and dry conditions due to the mist, sun and especially the wind enables the botrytis to demonstrate the nobility of its temperament.

All of the vine stock in Chateau Climens is Semillon, and the limestone and red sand give Semillon grape freshness and vivacity. This is Climens paradox since it is famous for producing the liveliest, freshest wines in the region with 100% Semillon grape.

The Climens wines are elegant, tense, with a fresh, long finale and fine balance, a delicate bitterness, a pure minerality, with rich and varied aromas. They are the expression of the quintessence of the Barsac appellation.

Photo with Mrs. Berenice Lurton- Owner of Chateau Climens.

2018 Vintage Barrel Sample tasting

Varied herbs for spraying to its biodynamic vineyard

Chateau Lafaurie- Peyraguey (Sauternes 1st Growth)

In June 2018, Chateau Lafaurie- Peyraguey- a Sauternes 1st growth winery, 1 Michelin star restaurant, Relaix & Chateau collection and 5 star hotel- opened its door to celebrate its 400th anniversary. Belonged to Maison Lalique- crown jewel of the French crystal industry and international lifestyle icon, and besides Villa Rene Lalique (Relaix & Chateau Collection, 5 star hotel, 2015) and Chateau Hochberg (2016) in Wingen-sur-Moder of Alsace, the third establishment is a sumptuous hotel and restaurant in Sauternes region, which combined wine, crystal, gastronomy and hospitality to serve luxurious art and senses.

The only one Lalique crystal barrel in the world filled with 2013 Chateau Lafraurie- Peyraguey noble rot wine.

Chateau Lafaurie- Peyraguey hotel received “Relaix & Chateau certification” only two months after its opening, and was awarded 5 stars 6 month after opening, allowing the hotel to join the exclusive circle of luxury establishment in the region.

The ceiling of the restaurant is decorated with 120 Champs-Elysées leaves in Lalique gleaming gold crystal, with other iconic Lalique pieces stand on console tables.

The thick wine list has a treasury of old vintages going back as far as 1893. A heritage of 350,000 bottles are stored in the cave, and there is a full range of Premier Grands Crus in rare vintages.

Chateau Guiraud (Sauternes 1st Growth)

Very detailed information from PPT was given while visiting the Chateau, including the history of the Chateau, the formation of Botrytis, the terroir of the vineyard, the classification, the winemaking process etc. Friendly Mr. Didier also led us to the winery touring the equipments, then followed by a tasting.

Chateau Guiraud was certified as organic vineyard in 2011, and it put lots of effort to develop and maintain the biodiversity in the vineyard.

The black label: Chateau Guiraud broke tradition, creating a avant-garde black label and the Helvetica script rather than hand-written style. The strong black background expresses all the strength and the convictions of the property, whereas the gold lettering echoes the art of the goldsmith in producing this wine of a liquid golden colour.

Photo with Didier Galhaud- associate manager of Chateau Guiraud.

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