Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Coutet’

The ‘New Parker’ Has Spoken on 2014 Bordeaux & Sauternes

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Two highly respected critics have released their reports and notes on the 2014 Sauternes – Neal Martin of The Wine Advocate and Chris Kissack, The Wine Doctor.

Neal has taken over En Primeur red wine duties from Robert Parker to add to his normal reviews of Sauternes. His view is that both should be considered in 2014 if the prices are keen but, like us, he rates Sauternes higher with Château d’Yquem as his top wine of the vintage and 9 wines rated as potentially ‘extraordinary’ (96 points or over). Only 12 red wines out of nearly 600 tasted made this grade (compared to 38 Sauternes assessed).

And Sauternes prices are very reasonable indeed. Chris Kissack says in his report: “While Bordeaux has rightly been criticised for the combination of questionable quality and ever-higher prices during the last three or four vintages, inducing thousands to turn their back on the region and get their vinous kicks elsewhere, Sauternes has quietly been continuing to turn out excellent wines, usually sold for a relative pittance. While Bordeaux continues to grow its reputation as over-hyped and over-priced (and I think the 2014 vintage will do nothing to change this), nestled inside this region is in fact one of the wine world’s great bargains.”

We also have five new releases to report this week at keen prices: Liot, Haut Bergeron, de Myrat, de Rayne Vigneau and Clos Haut-Peyraguey. Some wines already released like Coutet (only now available as half bottles for mixed cases) and Doisy Daene are nearly out of stock so act fast to secure your order.

All the wines in all sizes can be found at our 2014 En Primeur Online Shop – just click on any wine label to see tasting notes from myself, Neal, Chris and many others including Ian d’Agata for Decanter and Jancis Robinson.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

Decanter, Jancis Robinson Publish 2014 Sauternes Notes

Wednesday, 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

2011 Sauternes Revisited

Tuesday, 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

The 2013 Sauternes Tasting Videos

Friday, 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 L’Union des Grands Crus Tasting

Saturday, 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

No 2012 Yquem – a Strange Decision?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

There has been much speculation as to why Chateau d’Yquem has decided not to make a 2012 Sauternes.  I will never now get to taste the wine so I cannot really comment but I have no reason to doubt the integrity of the winemaking team in making the decision.

What I can say is that others have fared rather better.  There was certainly a lot of botrytis and, for those that waited, there was concentration too which will produce some wines of quality.  I anticipate that the vintage will prove overall to be as good, if not better, than 2004 or 2006.

My thoughts on Yquem and 2012 are in the clip below and, as an added bonus, there is a clip from Philippe and Aline Baly at Chateau Coutet that illustrates well the fact that some chateaux have made good wines in 2012.  Enjoy!

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


Christmas Sauternes Bin Ends

Friday, November 11th, 2011

What is Christmas without Sauternes?  Unthinkable in my house where there is always a bottle open in the fridge door to go with a mince pie – it beats Baileys hands down as a Christmas tipple!

Steve has routed around the cellar and found a few tempting bin ends at brilliant prices – perfect festive drinking!  Make sure you read right down to the bottom of this post as there is an extra special offer at the end!

2006 Carmes de Rieussec 

Our FREE UK delivery offer means this wine is at roughly 1/2 the price than offered elsewhere but hurry as there are only 15 bottles at £15.52 Ex VAT and 21 half bottles at £10.57 Ex VAT left (just click on the links to go to our shop and buy).

2007 de Rayne Vigneau

First Growth Sauternes from a top vintage for just over £25 a bottle including FREE UK delivery – we must be crazy!  Again speed is of the essence as there are only 5 bottles at £21.50 Ex VAT and 18 half bottles at £14.07 Ex VAT left (just click on the links).

2004 CoutetChateau Coutet, Barsac

For only a couple of £s more how about some First Growth Barsac with a little more age?  Only 3 bottles at £22.61 Ex VAT left so you will have to be lightning fast (just click on the link).

2006 de FarguesChateau de Fargues, Sauternes Wine Label

This is a real bargain – reputable merchants are selling this top quality Sauternes at around the £60-£80 mark but we are offering just 5 bottles at £38.17 Ex VAT and 28 half bottles at £21.21 Ex VAT   Remember this includes FREE UK delivery for just a single half bottle which those other high prices don’t unless you order over a certain amount.

2006 La Tour Blanche

This works out about 25% cheaper than anywhere else and there is the FREE UK delivery to factor in as well – hurry though as there are only 7 bottles at £24.83 Ex VAT left!

And finally, just in case you can’t make your mind up which to buy here is an extra special offer!  Steve has set aside some mixed cases containing all of the above wines – halves or bottles.  At a staggering further 20% off we have just 5 cases of mixed bottles at £196.21 Ex VAT and 5 cases of mixed half bottles at £146.71 – unbelievable value!


We wish you a merry Christmas!  Bill Blatch and Steve Webb

2010 Sauternes Slips Under the Radar

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Well it isn’t all over until the fat lady sings but most of the audience has left already!  As I write the Medoc 1st Growths, the Super 2nds and the the top Right Bank chateaux are finally releasing their wines onto the market after what has been one of the most criticised and extraordinary En Primeur campaigns.  It has been one of the longest campaigns ever with long lulls followed by intense spurts of activity, not to mention the record prices (for the red wines).

The ‘Embarrasingly Good Vintage that I wrote about in my 2010 Vintage Report has been followed by an ‘Embarrassingly Poor En Primeur Campaign’!

In Sauternes we only await the price for Chateau d’Yquem, which will probably follow those for the 1st Growths Reds.

Sauternes and Barsac have, yet again, suffered in the confusion!  These are amongst the very best wines in the world (see Sauternes – the Best Bordeaux Wine) and yet they are selling for a fraction of the price of the top red wines (see Sauternes – Best Value in Bordeaux).  Despite having the only reasonable pricing policy in Bordeaux the attention has been firmly on the red wines and Sauternes sales have been affected – the apathetic reaction to some of the red wine pricing seems to have rubbed off.

This is such a shame as the wines themselves deserve much, much better.  2010 in Sauternes, and especially Barsac, is utterly irresistible and gets better every time I taste it.  I urge you to take another look at my 2010 Tasting Notes and if you’ve been put off buying reds this year, focus on Sauternes instead!  All the prices are here:

Cases Prices – Bottles or Half Bottles

Individual Bottle or Half Bottle Prices

Out of interest our Top 10 best selling 2010 wines are as follows:

  1. Ch Raymond Lafon – top for the 2nd year running with fantastic quality at a ultra-reasonable price
  2. Ch Doisy-Vedrines – a big success in 2010
  3. Ch de Myrat – another great value Barsac doing well
  4. Ch Doisy Daene – completing a trio of Barsac wines at reasonable prices
  5. Ch Suduiraut – fantastic quality, one of the wines of the vintage
  6. Ch Coutet – a much more reasonable price in 2010
  7. Ch Guiraud – another high quality wine
  8. Domaine de L’Alliance – we are delighted that this wine is attracting an enthusiastic following
  9. Ch Climens – possibly the wine of the vintage
  10. Ch La Tour Blanche – again a top quality wine

There is a great mix of value and quality in this list – why not put together a mixed case with some or all of these wines included?  Bill Blatch

Sauternes and Chinese Food

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Amidst the madness 2010 En Primeur it was a real pleasure to sit down with some of my Sauternais friends at Vinexpo and taste some great Sauternes alongside some Chinese food.  Below is some video proof that I was there and, I think, appreciated, as are our efforts at Bordeaux Gold to promote their wines.

The Chan brothers, Tommy and André, of the Bordeaux Chinese Restaurant “Le Bonheur du Palais” made a dish for every wine:

  • Marinated Hong You salmon with Lafaurie-Peyraguey 2007, presented by Eric Larramona
  • Yu-Xiang gambas prawn with the Clos Haut-Peyraguey 2005, presented by Martine Langlais-Pauly
  • Caramelised Tchasui pork with Sichuan pepper with the Coutet 2004, presented by Aline Baly
  • Half-cooked beef in red pimiento oil with Guiraud 2003, presented by Xavier Planty
  • Tea-smoked duck with La Tour Blanche 2002, presented by Didier Fréchinet
  • Garlic and ginger chicken with Suduiraut 2001, presented by Pierre Montégut
  • “Folded arms” pork and shrimp (kind of sweet and sour) with Climens 1975, presented by Bérénice Lurton

There were a lot of Chinese-food experts there and the debate quickly became one of the challenge of food pairing in China because all the food is served at the same time.  Tommy had put the spicier dishes with the younger wines, which was thought not necessarily any better.

Frankly, everything went with everything which actually makes it easier to serve Sauternes with Chinese food than other wines – a result!  Bill Blatch