Three More 2014 Sauternes to Consider

April 17th, 2015

Lamothe Guignard, de Malle and Sigalas Rabaud have released before the weekend – something for everyone to consider as part of a Bordeaux Gold mixed case over the weekend.

To order a mixed case of your choice in bottles or handy half bottles first take a look at my 2014 Sauternes notes for all the wines.  Then go to the 2014 En Primeur page in the Online Shop and just add the wines you want to the shopping cart. Simple!

If you need more tasting notes from top wine critics just click on any label in the Online Shop and you will find more information. Bill Blatch

2014 Lafaurie-Peyraguey v 1988, 1961, 1928 and 1920

April 16th, 2015

lafauriebottleatlalaguneThe 2014 Lafaurie-Peyraguey has been released and will be bottled in the beautiful Lalique engraved bottled held proudly by winemaker Eric Larramona in this picture.

New owner Silvio Denz has started the process of bringing the property back to its former glory and the 2014 is a big step forward.  To find out just what the scale of the task is we went through a number of older vintages in a fantastic vertical tasting comprising of four pairs of wines.  First up were the 1988 and 1986, followed by the 1964 and 1961. As if that wasn’t enough we then tried four wines from the 1920’s – first the 1927 and 1928 followed by the 1926 and 1920.

What was immediately evident is that the wines of Lafaurie-Peyraguey age beautifully. All of these vintages are good ones with many in the ‘fresh and fruity’ category such as the fantastic 1988 and the sensational 1920.  There is every chance that Silvio and Eric’s efforts with the 2014 will last just as long and give just as much pleasure.

lafauriepeyragueyoldwineverticalweb

For more information about all of the 2014 wines released so far with all my tasting notes visit our Online Shop. Enjoy! Bill Blatch

 

Decanter, Jancis Robinson Publish 2014 Sauternes Notes

April 15th, 2015

To time with the rush of 2014 Sauternes being released early in Bordeaux (the fantastic Coutet, Bastor-Lamontagne and Filhot are the most recent) both Decanter and JancisRobinson have published their 2014 Sauternes notes.

Ian d’Agata for Decanter says: ‘It’s really a unique Sauternes and Barsac vintage, quite unlike any vintage of the past 30 years, because these remarkably opulent, rich wines really come across as almost dry.’

Jancis Robinson mirrors our feelings about the quality saying: ‘This is the single category that undoubtedly triumphed in 2014, producing wines that combine botrytised richness with unusual freshness – so not just massive bundles of sugar, but wines with real energy and finesse.’

Don’t forget all the wines released can be found on our special 2014 En Primeur page where, if you click on the wine labels, you can find all the tasting notes including mine.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2014 Suduiraut, La Tour Blanche and Doisy-Védrines Released

April 14th, 2015

doisyvedrinesbarsacJust like buses when, finally, we get a 2014 Sauternes release it is followed by several more!

La Tour Blanche has reduced it’s price by nearly 15% on 2013 and by over 30% on the 2009 peak making it superb value. Doisy-Védrines has inched up on Doisy Daene but is still cheaper than last year when exchange rates are taken into account whilst Suduiraut has held prices as Denis Dubourdieu did.

All the prices for all the wines by the half case, single bottle or single half bottle can be found HERE 

Enjoy! Bill Blatch

2014 Doisy Daene First to Release

April 13th, 2015

Denis Dubourdieu at Château Doisy Daene has kept prices the same as the last four years – Bravo Denis!  doisydaene2014labelweb

Taking the favourable exchange rate and the high quality of the vintage into account this is the best time for a long while to buy Sauternes.

Tasting notes for all of Denis’s wines including the great value Château Cantegril and the unique L’Extravagant de Doisy Daene can be found on our 2014 En Primeur page.

As normal Bordeaux Gold is the only place where you can order by the individual bottle or half bottle.  This means that over the next few weeks, as all the Sauternes release to the market, you can put together your own mixed case of the wines that appeal to you.

Why not make a start by ordering a few of Denis’s wines as they are always amongst the first to run out of stock in Bordeaux.  Bill Blatch

2014 Sauternes Introduction

March 28th, 2015

There is no doubt that the 2014 Sauternes are the best part of the vintage – take my word for it.  For my full summary take a look at the short video below.

I think, for example, that we could have the best Chateau d’Yquem since 2001 in the making and there are many lesser wines of the highest quality.  Enjoy!   Bill Blatch

A New Sauternes Cocktail Arrives

March 24th, 2015

Florence Cathiard who, along with her husband Daniel, is the new owner of Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne has joined forces with Perrier to create a new Sauternes based cocktail – ‘Le SO PERRIER’.

Building on Michel Garat’s creation of a lighter Sauternes style for a younger audience (which he branded ‘SO Sauternes’) Florence has gone a stage further and launched the new cocktail in partnership with Ricard, distributors of the Perrier brand in Paris this week.

For the full brochure (in French) click on this link – Dossier de Presse SO

Steve and I will no doubt be trying this out as we taste our way through the 2014 vintage!  More news on the vintage and all the wines will be uploaded over the next couple of weeks.

Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

 

2011 Sauternes Revisited

January 27th, 2015

Last year many of you will have taken delivery of some 2011 Sauternes so we thought it would be a good idea to see how they are drinking now – superbly as it happens! I also report below on the vintage generally (it’s easy to forget the excellent 2011 Sauternes vintage after the fantastic 2009s and 2010s) and how a panel of UK wine experts found the wines when they were tasted last week at the annual Southwold tasting.

To help you find a particular wine that you may have bought we’ve filmed everything in alphabetical order this time – enjoy the videos!  Bill Blatch

2011 Summary

2011 Sauternes A to C

2011 Sauternes D to G

2011 Sauternes L to N

2011 Sauternes R to Y

2014 Sauternes – Patience is a Virtue

October 21st, 2014

This is the state of tracker bunch no.1 yesterday afternoon, now fully botrytised and just awaitîng a few more sun hours to develop into ‘rôti’.

Bunch 1 20-10-14

This is just about typical of the whole Sauternes vineyard, everyone having completed tiny pickings during the too-dry-for-much-botrytis September and early October. Now, after some much needed showers followed by the last 4 days of extreme sunshine and heat, the botrytis is everywhere and more plentiful picking is just resuming and is expected to continue well into the coming dry, sunny and cool period announced by the Météo.

The fermentations I have tasted so far show great purety and regularly high sugars and also very high acidities. The vintage seems to be all coming together very nicely.  Bill Blatch

2014 Sauternes – Slow Progress

October 3rd, 2014
Below are 4 pictures from my i-phone, showing two marker bunches on Sept 28th, when Steve was with me in Sauternes, and on Oct 1.
Bunch 1 - September 28
latourblanche2
photo (3)
photo (4)
There has been absolutely no botrytis progress in either. And this is just about the same story all over Sauternes. This week, the harvest troops have been out picking just two or three fully botrytised grapes per bunch during a laborious 1st “trie” – in fact a 2nd “trie” for most as they had managed to gather a few barrels worth during the “nettoyage” and dry white run-through mid-September and that tiny quantity should really be termed the 1st “trie”, mostly “passerillé” rather than fully botrytised but with beautiful freshness and often 25° potential.
There are large quantities of ripe grapes still waiting to botrytise, often with a few tell-tale first signs (blotches under the skins), and a few at “pourri plein” stage. We are entering our 6th week of interminably hot and dry weather which has allowed the Merlot harvest to finish in ideal conditions, whilst in Sauternes we could use a bit of rainfall or morning fogs to unleash things. Light showers are forecast for the weekend and then more of the same hot (26°C), dry conditions. It could be just enough to kick-start a botrytis onrush. The danger is that many grapes shrivel but many don’t think that will happen.
It reminds me exactly of the 1988 vintage, harvested in similarly dry conditions over almost 3 months in 7 or 8 “tries” and providing those beautifully focused and well-delineated wines that sparked off the Sauternes-as-apéritif boom in chic Paris bars which then internationalised into a three-year Sauternes boom in the markets. I still love to drink them today. In fact, I think I’ll be having one with my menu fixe at lunch today in Pauillac
I’ll check on our bunches again early next week.  Bill Blatch