Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Raymond-Lafon’

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

No 2013 Yquem En Primeur!

Sunday, 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

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

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 Overview Including Yquem, Rieussec and Climens

Tuesday, 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

2009 Sauternes Tasting From Bottle – Part 3

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Now onto some First Growth 2009 Sauternes!

Some other tasting results from the Southwold tasting are filtering through.  For Jancis Robinson’s full tasting notes (subscription required) click here.  The overall opinion was:

The sweet whites on the other hand were lovely, some of the best wines we tasted in Southwold. The wines were very charming indeed and had quite enough acidity. Blatch, a big sweet white bordeaux fan, puts 2009 ahead of 2005. We found the quality generally very high. 

We have half bottles of the de Fargues (18.5pts from Jancis) and the Rabaud-Promis (17pts) available for immediate delivery in the UK – just click on this link!

Enjoy! Bill Blatch

Goods news from the 2012 Sauternes vineyards

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Just to recap, we left off at my last clip in this year’s reference rank of vines on 24th October.  The botrytis was almost total, as it was in the rest of Sauternes-Barsac, but it just needed to dry out and concentrate.  I said then that all that was needed was a final bout of drying easterly or northerly air circulation, without rainfall, for all this to happen.

Well, we got the end of week rain Thursday 25 and Friday 26th, as forecast, and then, bingo, again as forecast, the wind went round to the North and blew strong and fine all the way through to Halloween night Wednesday 31st. I have to say, I hadn’t quite got my level of faith up to that of the growers and had never really believed, with the botrytis having been on the bunches for so long and so wet, that anything good could come of it. Consequently I missed filming what was to become possibly the best part of the harvest, Sunday 28th, Monday 29th, Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st October.  I enclose a picture of Raymond Lafon’s  grapes from last Tuesday as evidence.

The effect of this short weather change was instantaneous. In a matter of hours, the bunches dried out and concentrated, often from 16° to 19° potential, with several pressings reaching 21 or even 22°. These four days have saved the 2012 Sauternes for those who had the patience to wait it out (most of the crus classés but not many of the others). It will certainly not be of the aromatic quality of the last 3 vintages, having been rained on for so long, but the juice is concentrated, the musts are surprisingly pure, have not produced any volatile acidity of note and do not appear so far to be combining sulphur, which is always a good sign.

The yields remain tiny, especially as, in most cases, a large portion of the grapes had to be discarded by the pickers. But this final picking will probably count for more than half the final blend for most of those who could or did wait for it.

So the best of 2012 Sauternes will be composed probably of a very small early picking 4th – 10th October, of a sometimes not insignificant 1st or 2nd picking of those grapes that got to “rôti” stage 15th – 18th October, of a few bits from the “waiting week” of 22nd October, and a big wodge from the final pick last week. The character of the wines? It’s too early to tell. There are some finished wines in the cellars already but I won’t start tasting for another 10 days at least. And even then, it will be too early to see through the wines, I’ll just be trying to get my tongue round them, no more.

Meanwhile, there are still bunches out there. Some had hoped that today’s second round of northerlies would dry them out, but hope is diminishing fast after the heavy weekend rains.

Meanwhile, we have some analyses, which are very encouraging, with good natural residual levels,  My guess is that this will not be a great vintage, but could certainly qualify – totally unexpectedly until a few days ago – as pretty darned good. Then there will be two other classes of 2012 Sauternes: those who picked everything mid-October before the bunched concentrated and who either cryo-extracted them up to the required level or left them as they were, at inferior sugar levels.  Bill Blatch

2011 Sauternes – Perfect for Early Drinking?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

The books will be closing soon on 2011 Sauternes En Primeur so I thought I’d taste the wines just one more time before they begin their lengthy sojourn in barrel.  Often this is a better time to taste than April as the final ‘assemblage’ has more often than not been done and you get a slightly better idea of what a wine will actually be like in bottle.

The good news is that the wines are just as fantastically fresh as in the Spring.  As a result this is probably one of the best vintages ever for drinking young – I’ve no idea how they will age but why wait as they are incredibly enjoyable even now?

Below are several videos from my tastings which are well worth a look when you have a minute or two.  First a summary of how the wines are tasting generally:

The next video covers my thoughts on the First Growths from Clos Haut-Peyraguey to Lafaurie-Peyraguey:

And next covers the rest from Rabaud Promis to La Tour Blanche (can you spot the deliberate mistake?):

Did you spot it?  This video covers our best selling 2011 Sauternes (Raymond-Lafon)  and should correct it!

And here is the video covering the 2011 Barsac from Climens that I promised:

And finally but by no means least I retreated to my cellar to record a conversation I had with Charles Chevallier from Rieussec:

It is very close to ‘last orders’ now so if you would like any of these wines click on this link – 2011 Sauternes.  Enjoy!  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


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

2010 Sauternes – the Eurovision Chart!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Following the Eurovision Song Contest (and popular demand) we couldn’t resist one more Top 40 Chart!

Taken into account are a host of new scores from France (Revue du Vin de France, Professor Bernard Burtschy, Jacques Dupont, Jacques Perrin & Antoon Laurent), Izak Litwar’s scores from Denmark and, to make things truly European, the scores from the Grand Jury Europeen founded by Francois Mauss.

For tasting notes and scores just click on the links or on the large blue box at the top right of your screen.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

1.  L’Extravagant de Doisy Daene (-) – No changes across the top 5 wines but it was very close for No.1! RELEASED – £797 (6 x halves)
2.  d’Yquem (-) – RELEASED – £4,911/£4,927 (12 x bottles/24 x halves)
3.  Climens RELEASED – £839/£847
4.  Suduiraut (-1) – RELEASED – £562/£578
5.  Coutet (-) – RELEASED – £528/£544
6.  Guiraud (+1) – Moving back up the chart!  RELEASED – £349/£365
7=. Doisy Daene (+2) – Up for the second week running! RELEASED – £308/£324
7=. Raymond Lafon (+5) – Up 5 places again!  RELEASED – £292/£308
9.  Rieussec (-3) – A slight faller! RELEASED – £556/£572
10.  La Tour Blanche (-2) – Down 2 places!  RELEASED – £441/£457
11.  Doisy-Vedrines (-) – A non-mover! RELEASED – £234/£250
12.  de Fargues (+5) – Moving up to where it belongs! RELEASED – £900/£916
13.  Lafaurie-Peyraguey (-3) – Out of the top 10 – just!  RELEASED – £338/£354
14.  Nairac (-1) – A slight faller! RELEASED – £384/£400
15.  Rabaud-Promis (+1) – Still moving up slowly!
16.  Clos Haut-Peyraguey (-1) – Falling one place! RELEASED – £344/£360
17. Sigalas Rabaud (+1) – Good top 20 position! RELEASED – £349/£365
18.  de Rayne Vigneau (-5) – Moving down the charts! – RELEASED – £322/£338
19.  de Myrat (-) – A non-mover! RELEASED – £219/£235
20.  de Malle (+5) – Well deserved big move!  RELEASED – £232/£248
21.  Bastor-Lamontagne (+7) – Now just outside the top 20!  RELEASED – £164/£180
22=. Haut-Bergeron (-2) – A slight fall after last week’s big rise!
22=. Caillou (-) – A non-mover this week!
24.  Filhot (-1) – A slight faller!  RELEASED – £177/£193
25.  d’Arche (-4) – A surprise faller this week!  RELEASED – £210/£226
26.  Broustet (-2) – A slight fall but a great price!  RELEASED – £143/£159
27.  Lamothe Guignard (+5) – Back into the top 30!  RELEASED – £168/£184
28=. Cantegril (+1) – Moving up slightly! RELEASED – £157/£173
28=. de Veyres (+2) – More progress up the chart!   RELEASED – £137/£153
30.  Romer du Hayot (+4) – Bouncing back after a fall!  RELEASED – £140/£156
31=. Lamothe Despujols (-4) – A faller this week! RELEASED – £175/£191
31=. Domaine de L’Alliance (+2) – Another move up the chart! RELEASED – £74
31=. La Clotte-Cazalis (+6) = A deserved big move! RELEASED – £169/£185
34.  Romer (+2) – Up 2 places!
35.  Les Justices (-9) – The biggest faller this week!
36.  Suau (-1) – A slight faller!
37.  Tuyttens (-7) – Another big faller!
38.  Liot (-) – The first of 3 non-movers!  RELEASED – £140/£156
39.  Saint-Marc (-) – No move here!  RELEASED – £125/£141
40.  Partarrieu (-) – Still in the top 40! RELEASED – £117/£133