Early 2014 Sauternes News

August 28th, 2014

I was down in Sauternes yesterday finalising arrangements to ship the 2011s.  We’re sorry these are a little late coming over compared to the red wines but it’s often the case with Sauternes that Rieussec, Raymond Lafon and de Fargues stay a little longer in barrel than the other wines.  You then get into the Summer and we’d rather not take risks shipping in the middle of a heatwave.

While I was there I checked up on progress with the 2014 vintage. The vineyard has come through the ‘iffy’ summer remarkably well and of course the year’s main scourge of irregularly ripening grapes makes no difference to Sauternes who pick grape by grape. If it remains dry for a month, it could still be very good,making Sauternes the vintage’s winner for the second year running!

It’s obviously still early days but, as usual, we’ll keep you up to date throughout.  Bill Blatch

No 2013 Yquem En Primeur!

May 18th, 2014

Chateau d’Yquem, along with Chateau Raymond-Lafon, Chateau d’Arche and Chateau Lamothe-Guignard have decided not to offer their 2013 Sauternes wines en primeur.  Yquem’s reason is similar to the one given for not releasing the 2011 during the en primeur campaign – they feel the wine they have made deserves to be sold in a healthier economic climate.

2013yquematchateau 300x168 No 2013 Yquem En Primeur!

I have some sympathy with this view – they have just got 95-97 pts from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and have been widely acclaimed as the best wine of the vintage, red or white.  Why should they release in the midst of a disastrous En Primeur campaign caused by over-pricing among some of the red wines?

Unfortunately is does mean that we cannot offer these wines at this moment but there is always an alternative! Chateau de Fargues has taken a defiant stance on price and increased it to a level they feel more suited to a wine they feel is a classic.  I have some sympathy with this approach too and the wine is certainly top quality.

Even better value though is the offer from our old favourite, Daniel Alibrand at Domaine de l’Alliance.  If you want top class Sauternes from a top vintage at an attractive price then this has to be your wine.  There are excellent offerings out too from Barsac Second Growths Chateau Broustet and Chateau Nairac.

For all the wines available in half and full bottles visit our full 2013 Sauternes En Primeur Offer.

Enjoy! Bill Blatch

2013 Sauternes Tasting Notes From Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

May 1st, 2014

Two more great value 1st Growth 2013 Sauternes – Clos Haut-Peyraguey and Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau – are now out HERE

To help you work out just how good the 2013 Sauternes are we’ve added tasting notes for all wines from Neal Martin of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Jeannie Cho Lee of Decanter Magazine, Matthew Jukes of the Daily Mail and Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast Magazine.  Just click on any label to view the notes for that particular wine.

My notes are also available and should be read first – I taste all of the wines many more times during their evolution than anyone and know them better than most.  I still steadfastly refuse to score I’m afraid (how can you judge your family?) and wouldn’t encourage anyone to look too closely at scores at this stage as we are still a year (or two for some wines) away from bottling and all of the wines are at different stages of their evolution.  Neal Martin’s notes, however, in particular should be read in detail – he is fast developing into an excellent taster of young Sauternes.

Enjoy! Bill Blatch

2013 Rieussec and de Myrat Released En Primeur

April 25th, 2014

Prices and tasting notes for Rieussec and de Myrat are now up at the Bordeaux Gold 2013 Sauternes En Primeur Shop – just click on the link!

We’ve added some tasting notes for all the wines from Jeannie Cho Lee MW of Decanter Magazine and Matthew Jukes of the Daily Mail as well as my own comments – just click on any wine label or name when you are in the shop to see all the information.  More notes will be added next week including those of Neal Martin from the Wine Advocate, Robert Parker’s chosen reviewer of Sauternes.  Don’t forget also my 2013 Sauternes Tasting Videos – again just click on the link!

The photos below are of Serge Lagardère of Rieussec tasting the 2013 vintage and Xavier and Slanie de Pontac in the cellars at de Myrat.

2013rieussecatchateauweb 2013 Rieussec and de Myrat Released En Primeur

demyrat2013web 300x212 2013 Rieussec and de Myrat Released En Primeur

Climens, Doisy Daene, Sigalas Rabaud and More 2013 Sauternes Released En Primeur

April 16th, 2014

What a wonderful price for 2013 Château Climens – Bravo Bérénice!

Great restraint too from Denis at Doisy Daene, Laure at Sigalas Rabaud and Michel at Bastor-Lamontagne – all now for sale either by the six pack (75cl bottles), the half bottle equivalent (12 x 37.5cl half bottles) or by individual bottles or half bottles as part of a mixed case that you can put together yourselves – why not have one of each?  Just click on the link below to find all the wines now:

2013 Sauternes En Primeur

To give you an idea of just how good a price the 2013 Château Climens is here are the relative cheapest prices for the most recent good vintages from WineSearcher:

2013 Château Climens – £225 per six bottle pack - click to buy from Bordeaux Gold now
2011 Château Climens – £375
2010 Château Climens – £337
2009 Château Climens – £424.50
2007 Château Climens – £387.50
2005 Château Climens – £275
2003 Château Climens – £295
2001 Château Climens – £1,000

Have a great Easter and think of 2013 Sauternes while you are eating your chocolate egg!  Bill Blatch

First 2013 Sauternes Prices Out

April 15th, 2014

The first 2013 Sauternes prices are out HERE and its good news!

Chateau prices are generally the same as last year and lower than 2011, 1010 and 2009.  Combined with a favourable exchange rate this makes 2013 Sauternes the best value quality Sauternes vintage in recent times.  And remember, Sauternes prices have not increased since 2000 in the same way that the red wines have – they represent by far and away the best value quality wines from Bordeaux.

The only real exception so far this year is Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey which, given that it is rumoured that the new owner Silvio Denz of Lalique crystal glass fame will be providing a celebratory bottle for this vintage, can be excused a modest increase.

Amongst the wines out so far is Château de Malle, one of the real surprises and a personal recommendation, as well as one of the stars of the vintage, Château Suduiraut.  All wines are available either in handy half cases or, uniquely at Bordeaux Gold, by the individual bottle or half bottle so that you can mix and match a case to suit your taste.  Just click on the link below to find all the wines along with my tasting notes for each wine.

2013 Sauternes En Primeur Prices

You can also now view my full 2013 Sauternes vintage report by clicking HERE - Enjoy! Bill Blatch

The 2013 Sauternes Tasting Videos

April 11th, 2014

The tasting videos for the 2013 Sauternes are finally published below – we hope you enjoy them as much as we’ve enjoyed tasting the wines!

To help you locate any particular wine you are interested in there are five videos in alphabetical order.  The first video covers the A-C chateaux and includes Domaine de l’Alliance, Ch d’Arche (starts at 1:15), Ch Bastor-Lamontagne (1:53), Ch Broustet (2:26), Ch Caillou (3:12), Clos Haut-Peyraguey (3:37) and Ch Coutet (4:47).

In the second video covering the D-G chateaux you will find Ch Doisy Daene, L’Extravagant de Doisy Daene (0:59), Ch Doisy-Vedrines (1:47), Ch de Fargues (2:22), Ch Filhot (3:05) and Ch Guiraud (4:03).

Next it’s the turn of Ch Haut-Bergeron, Ch Les Justices (0:59), Ch Lafaurie-Peyraguey (2:04), Ch Lamothe Despujols (3:40) and Lamothe Guignard (4:10) .

Ch Liot kicks off the next video followed by the wonderful Ch de Malle (1:23), Ch de Myrat (2:33), Ch Nairac (3:22), Ch Rabaud Promis (4:41) and Ch Raymond-Lafon (5:29).

Finally, but by no means least we have a string of 1st Growth wines starting with Ch de Rayne Vigneau and then Ch Rieussec (1:08), Ch Sigalas-Rabaud (2:10), Ch Suduiraut (2:49) and Ch La Tour Blanche (4:01).

2013 Sauternes Overview Including Yquem, Rieussec and Climens

April 8th, 2014

Rot is a good word in Sauternes – Noble Rot that is!  The same fungus that produced wretched Grey Rot across the red wine vineyards of Bordeaux produced fine, fresh botrytis on the grapes of Sauternes and Barsac.  The wines are in the fresh botrytis style of the 2011s, 2007s and 2001s rather than the riper 2010s, 2009s and 2003s but it is a very good year.

The overview video below sums up the growing season and the style of wines shortly to be offered as 2013 En Primeur Sauternes.  Below that are a few clips taken at Yquem, Rieussec, Climens and Raymond-Lafon that add a little more flavour.  Detailed tasting videos for most of the wines will follow when I’ve learned how to use the new file transfer software that Steve has downloaded onto my laptop!  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2013 Sauternes L’Union des Grands Crus Tasting

April 5th, 2014

What a wonderful week it has been for tasting 2013 Sauternes!

Many thanks to Nicholas and Eloise Heeter-Tari at Nairac, Silvio Denz and Eric Laramona at Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Pierre Lurton and all the team at Yquem, Charles Chevalier at Rieussec, Berenice Lurton at Climens, Pierre Montegut at Suduiraut, Vincent Labergére at de Rayne Vigneau, Xavier Planty at Guiraud, Laure de Lambert Compeyrot at Sigalas-Rabaud, Aline and Philippe Baly at Coutet and all the staff at La Lagune in the Medoc for organising tasting events and to all the other Sauternes growers for providing us with some wonderful samples.  As well as tasting the wines ourselves we’ve put them in front of journalists and wine merchants from all around the world and everywhere they have been tasted they have brought a smile to people’s faces.

Before I finally get down to capturing my thoughts on the wines on video here are some videos Steve took at La Lagune where the Sauternais were exhibiting their wines as part of the Union de Grands Crus tastings.  It’s a great chateau and a wonderful place to taste.  There is, however, a small touch of irony in the location as La Lagune was one of a few red chateaux that decided not to present a wine this year, presumably not least because of the effect of botrytis on their Merlot grapes – the same botrytis that has produced such wonderfully fresh Sauternes in 2013.

Its all smiles though in Sauternes – as these sample videos from happy growers show.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2013 Sauternes First Impressions

March 29th, 2014

2013 Sauternes is beginning to look very promising indeed.  Before we do a comprehensive tasting we always visit a few chateaux to get a better idea of the vintage – an impression of its character.

Below are a couple of videos selected from our first day in Sauternes on Thursday that start to tell the story.  Over the next week or so we will be posting tasting videos for all the wines, all of which we will have tasted at least three times.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch