Archive for April, 2012

Bill Blatch 2011 Sauternes Report

Monday, April 30th, 2012

I hope you enjoy my full 2011 Sauternes Report published today.  Here is a direct link:

2011 Sauternes Report

I apologise that it has taken longer this year but I have now officially retired (that sounds very odd) from my negociant life at Vintex and saying goodbye has taken up a lot of my time.  The good news is that there should be more time for Sauternes and Bordeaux Gold from now on!

Once you have read the report don’t forget to take a look at the wines here:

2011 Sauternes En Primeur

Just by clicking on a wine label you can get tasting notes from myself, Neal Martin (writing for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate), Jeannie Cho Lee (writing for Decanter), Julia Harding (writing for Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages), James Suckling, Michel Bettane, James Molesworth (writing for The Wine Spectator), Chris Kissack and many more.  For alternative views on the vintage I’d point you towards Neal Martin, Jancis Robinson (both require subscription) or the remarkable Wine Doctor,  Chris Kissack, for an in depth free assessment.

Everyone has something in common though – they all love the incredibly fresh 2011 Sauternes.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2011 Climens Out (and more)

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Four of the very best quality and value wines out this morning:

Climens – as good as it gets from Barsac in this superb vintage. I’ll be interested to hear what score Neal Martin gives this wine later today.

Broustet – the cheapest 2nd Growth on the market and a ridiculous price for the quality Pierre Mauget and Jérémie Gravier have achieved.

Sigalas-Rabaud – I just loved this wine, bravo Laure!

de Myrat –  more great quality Barsac from the de Pontacs, very rich!

Remember all the wines out so far are here – 2011 Sauternes En Primeur.  As a reminder here’s the video Steve and I shot after tasting the 2011 Climens from barrel.  Enjoy! Bill Blatch

More Great Value 2011 Sauternes

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Well the Sauternais certainly aren’t hanging around for Robert Parker tomorrow! Four more releases today including one of the best value wines of the vintage – Chateau Liot – as well as top quality wines from Chateau Coutet, Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau and Chateau d’Arche.

There are now 16 great quality and value Sauternes and Barsac wines to choose from, all available by the bottle – anyone feel a mixed case coming on?  You know where to go by now but here’s the link again below. Enjoy! Bill Blatch

2011 Sauternes En Primeur

7 More 2011 Sauternes Prices Out

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Some great value and great quality to be found amongst these 2011 Sauternes and Barsac releases today:

Bastor-LamontagneCantegrilClos Haut-PeyragueyDoisy-DaeneL’Extravagant de Doisy-DaeneFilhotLamothe-Guignard

Thanks to everyone who has commented so positively on the new Gold Star Scoring System and simplified pricing – it’s great to know we are helping you to buy Sauternes more easily from this superb vintage.  All the wines out so far with their scores can be found at the main

2011 En Primeur Page

Just click on the link and enjoy!  Bill Blatch

First 2011 Sauternes Prices Out

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The first 2011 Sauternes prices are out early – Suduiraut, Doisy-Védrines, Lafaurie-Peyraguey and Raymond-Lafon!

The vintage is superb (my full vintage report will be published within the next two days) and prices so far are the same or slightly lower than last year.  When combined with an improved exchange rate compared to last year this means the wines so far are between 2 and 14% cheaper – this represents good to excellent value for most wines.

To keep an eye on all the 2011 Sauternes prices as they are released bookmark this page – 2011 Sauternes.  You will note that this year, to make things simple, our prices are all by the 75cl bottle – all you have to do is order how many you want of each wine.  If you want a whole case then order 12 bottles, if you just want half a case then order 6 bottles and if you want to mix up cases of any size then just order as many bottles as you want of each wine.  You will be given an opportunity at the end of the En Primeur campaign to tell us how you would like your wines bottled (e.g. halves, bottles, magnums or larger sizes).

We hope you appreciate the flexibility of this system which is unique to Bordeaux Gold!

We have also introduced a new Gold Star Scoring System to help you choose your wines.

New Sauternes Gold Star Scoring System

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

I’ve always resisted scoring Sauternes – to me it feels a bit like judging one’s family.  Steve has convinced me, however, that some form of judgement would make your life a lot easier and I completely understand that it can be difficult to make sense of some of my ramblings on Sauternes!

So – we’ve invented a new system for scoring Sauternes which gets over some of the problems associated with the traditional 100 or 20 point systems.  In the Gold Star System wines are scored out of 10 for Year, Wine and Value giving a maximum of 30.

Our aim is for the system to explain a wine more clearly to readers and also to give guidance to producers on how to improve their overall offer.  In short we hope the system is a constructive contribution.  For a fuller explanation of the system click here – Gold Star Scoring System

We will be trialling the system for the 2011 vintage – do let us know what you think.  Don’t forget to read the notes too though!  Bill Blatch

2011 Sauternes First Growths

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

2011 Sauternes is without doubt a big success.  And at the head of this we have some sensational First Growth wines.

For my thoughts on Coutet, Clos Haut-Peyraguey, de Fargues, Guiraud, Lafaurie-Peyraguey and Rabaud Promis click on the first video below.  After that click on the second video for comments on Raymond Lafon, de Rayne Vigneau, Rieussec, Sigalas Rabaud, Suduiraut and La Tour Blanche.  There is at least one sensational wine in each video!  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2011 Sauternes Second Growths

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Anyone for seconds?  With 2011 Sauternes and Barsac it would be rude to say ‘No’ and you wouldn’t feel you’ve been greedy – you might even come back for thirds!  The Second Growths this year are super fresh and fruity backed up by rich botrytis which, while it is not the first thing that grabs your attention now, will help to make these wines really interesting as they develop.

Below are two videos covering Barsac and then Sauternes including Broustet, Caillou, Doisy Daene, Doisy Vedrines, de Myrat, Nairac, Romer du Hayot, d’Arche, Filhot, Lamothe, Lamothe Guignard and de Malle.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch


Sauternes 3 : Bordeaux 2

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

I am a Bordeaux as well as a Sauternes fan (wine not football) but even I have to admit that Sauternes is in the lead now on great recent vintages.  After our trips to Climens and Yquem (see posts below) we went to Chateau La Tour Blanche and tasted all of the major unclassified and cru classe 2011 Sauternes and Barsac.

Below there are 3 videos to set the scene featuring our hosts Didier Frechinet, Jean-Pierre Faure and Philippe Pelicano at Chateau La Tour Blanche and me mulling over the unclassified Barsac and Sauternes in my garden the day after.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

Wines featured are Cantegril, La Clotte-Cazalis, Gravas, Latrezotte, Liot, Domaine de l’Alliance, Bastor Lamontagne, Haut-Bergeron and de Veyres and there some wines here producing at classed growth level that will be great value in 2011.