Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2001
Other Dessert from Sauternes and Barsac, Bordeaux, France
Number on 23 Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2004!
"Golden yellow. Butterscotch and vanilla, with hints of ripe apples. Full-bodied, with lots of sweetness and a spicy apricot and honey aftertaste. Excellent concentration and balance. Loads of botrytis character on the finish. Intense. Hard not to drink now because it's so luscious and rich. Best after 2008." -Wine Spectator
James Suckling - "Intensely fruity and rich with wonderful sweetness and loads of spicy and honey character with a dried apricot undertone. It hasn’t changed much since I last tasted it, just bottled. Great 2001. Drink or hold. "
International Wine Cellar - "Medium golden yellow color. Knockout nose combines pineapple, yellow plum, marzipan, roasted herbs and resiny oak. Superconcentrated, chewy and stylish, with flavors of honey, pineapple, marzipan, vanilla, toffee and spicy oak framed and intensified by bright acidity. Impressively dense, saline wine with a very firm spine and considerable aging potential.
The Wine Advocate - "The Guiraud 2001 here did not quite deliver as it had done at the vertical tasting a couple of years previously. However, it still boasts an attractive, quite forward orange peel, lanolin and apricot-scented bouquet that is certainly well defined. Like before, just give it a few swirls and that peachy nose unfurls. The palate is well balanced but I find it here just a little pinched on the entry. The finish is linear but full of citrus fruit and bitter orange to savor. I was just expecting more persistence but otherwise this is very fine."
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Chateau Guiraud Winery
Château Guirard, located in the heart of the commune of Sauternes, has a 100-hectare vineyard in a single block. The vines are planted around the cellars and the château. The Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes ripen very early at Guiraud and undergo tremendous natural concentration due to the effects of "noble rot" (botrytis).
The harvest takes place in several waves and the grapes are literally picked one by one. This process is not only risky, but accounts for very low yields. It nevertheless results in rich, complex wines.
The quality of Château Guiraud's terroir earned its classification as a First Growth in 1855. The Société Civile Agricole du Château Guiraud is managed by Xavier Planty. View all Chateau Guiraud Wines
About Sauternes and BarsacView a map of Sauternes and Barsac wineries (saw-TURN & BAR-sak)
The regions of Sauternes & Barsac are both located southeast of Graves, almost directly south of St-Émilion, and hug the Garonne River as it curves. Both areas are dedicated to producing sweet, white wines. The rains, the mists, the humidity and the climate, all help foster the necessary mold that leads to the unfortified, but lusciously sweet wines produced there.
Semillon is the primary grape here as it takes well to bortrytis, also known as "noble rot." Sauvignon Blanc is used in the blend to add acidity to the richer, thicker Semillon. The process for making the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac is long, labored and costly. Adter it has reached maximum ripeness, the Semillon grapes are left on the vine until they are infected with botrytis. This helpful mold then shrivels the grapes, concentrating the sugars but maintaining the acids. Weather is not always agreeable and berries must be picked at just the right moment, all by hand. The grapes yeild less juice than dry wines, due to their shriveled and concentrated state. Some houses, like the famed Chateau Yquem, will not make a wine in a less-than-perfect year. All these factors lead to highly prized, and often expensive, wine. However, the taste is well worth it. In the palate the wines of Sauternes & Barsac are luscious and sweet, yet with the balanced acidity to keep them from being too cloying or candied.Wines with the Sauternes AC must be sweet - dry wines are labeled under the Graves or Bordeaux AC. Barsac wines may be labeled either Barsac AC or Sauternes AC. Typically, Barsac wines are a little lighter in body and less intense than Sauternes.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.