Latest Harvest News for 2010 Sauternes

We are on the brink of another great vintage for the 2010 Sauternes but, even now in late October, there are things that can still go wrong.  Having spoken to several growers across Sauternes and Barsac in the last few days the situation is positive, yet complex.

The vintage has been characterised by the slow development of Botrytis over an extended period of time – this is still the case (see photos from Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne below).  Growers have been dipping in and out of the vineyards ever since the end of September and most estates have labouriously picked around 50% of the crop.  The rest of the grapes are all infected with Botrytis but, because of the low night-time temperatures, only to the ‘pourri plein’ stage. Those with grapes still on the vine are hoping for little more warmth to help development of the noble rot to the coveted ‘roti’ or roasted stage.  At this late stage it is touch and go for these grapes.  Some estates have fared very well indeed and their harvest is almost complete.

All the grapes harvested so far are of excellent quality with great sugar readings, lovely aromatics and acidities – not unlike 2007.  I am looking forward to tasting the musts and filming this for you on my return from the States next week. Bill Blatch

PS Here’s a link to the latest news from Chateau Suduiraut on their harvest: Chateau Suduiraut 2010 Harvest News

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