Ask Sid: Best Sauternes Vintages?

January 18th, 2017
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Ask Sid: Best Sauternes Vintages?
By Laurent Espitallier from France (Sauternes & Foie gras) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Question: I have collected quite a few Sauternes from different years starting with 2000 and onwards. Which vintages do you consider the top ones and best aging?

Answer: Discussed this issue last night at a dinner while sipping on the amazingly pineapple rich forwardly Chateau Coutet 1989. Middle year of the successful Sauternes trio with those early picked powerful 1990 and more botrytis with higher acidity 1988. Starting this century 2000 had a lot of rain from October 9th resulting in fragrant lighter Sauternes. The following year 2001 is so outstanding with their incredible balance! Also the 2005 has balance but less acidity though exceptional while the 2009 is ultra-rich with lots of botrytis. Some promising ones coming along from this decade to monitor. Expert Bill Blatch on his is a good site to follow. Try some from your collection and make you own assessment.

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What do you consider to be the best Sauternes vintage?

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January 18th, 2017

2 Responses

  1. Sid – I noticed that the IWFS vintage card rates the 2007 Sauternes a 7, but you didn’t mention it along with the other great vintages. Do you think it is overrated?

    • Sidney Cross says:

      Thanks for your comment Christopher. You are right 2007 is a very good Sauternes vintage. Probably close to the vintages I mentioned. Expert Bill Blatch @BordeauxGold tells me he likes it as “fine & pure with a lot of zest”. Different style again. Bill prefers the best balance of 2001, 2005 & 2009. I feel similarly.

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