Chateau Filhot – 2nd Growth Sauternes
RELEASED 2nd May 2011 – £177/case bottles or £193/case half bottles
Bill Blatch: The first samples back in January were excellent, vibrant, toned with that Filhot rainwater kind of minerality, on the sweet side but also with good acidity to balance. Then, for the trade tastings, there was a series of very unfinished samples, and now we are just back to where we were at the beginning: a precise, clearly defined, very mineral style, with its 1/3 Sauvignon brightening it all up even more and a long soft finish.
Decanter: 16/20 – Strongly affected by oak (a surprise when you know the previous style of wine making from this château), with slightly heavy lactic undertones linked to the wine ‘remembering’ the fermentation aromas, but certainly a rich wine built to last a long time. Drink 2020-2040.
Jancis Robinson: 16/20 – Drink 2020-2038. Gold with a hint of copper. Not especially distinguished on the nose. Nervy. Unctuous texture with mid to high sweetness and lots of acidity. Quite muscular and exciting. Not classic big and sweet but certainly sweeter than most and a very valid style. Some real chew and structure but a bit heavy overall. Residual Sugar 145 g/l, Total Acidity 3.5 g/l, Alcohol 13.65%.
Wine Spectator: 91-94/100 – Fresh, with lots of floral, honey and orange peel notes followed by heather and marzipan and a bright, juicy finish. There’s nice freshness in the works, with a very lively, spicy finish.
Tim Atkin: 94/100
Wine Enthusiast: 87-89/100 – The wine tastes light, with a hard edged mineral character, the richness still a distance away.
James Suckling: 86-87/100
Jeremy Williams: 88+/100 – Pale straw; little reductive and wet dog, wool; attractive palate with good balance and nice acid. Nicely done.
Rene Gabriel: 17/20
Jane Anson: 87-88/100 – One of the richer gold hues. This has some heat that I am not really feeling elsewhere, but also a real lightness of structure that just about carries away the alcohol. On a second tasting after going through the whole flight, alcohol still too intrusive. Drink 2018-2030
Matthew Jukes: 17/20
Chris Kissack: 16.5-17.5/20 – Residual sugar 145 g/l. This is an immediately flattering sample, honeyed, and there is a suggestion of oak coming in here to bolster this. The palate has great weight and breadth to it, the impact in the mouth very confident and successful, especially so for Filhot I think. Rather polished, quite grainy at its core, showing an impressive depth of texture which must hark back to the vintage. And there is a lovely spicy element to the sweet, tropical fruits here. A sterling effort from Gabriel de Vaucelles and team here.