Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (375ML Futures Pre-sale) 2011
Other Dessert from Sauternes and Barsac, Bordeaux, France
The 2005 vintage of this wine was ranked #4 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2008
Wine Spectator - "Ripe and unctuous, but with a deliciously racy orange streak running through the core of creamed pear, fig and green plum flavors. Supercreamy on the finish and very long, with honeysuckle and almond notes echoing on and on. A stunner in the making.
Barrel Sample: 96-99 Points"
Wine Enthusiast - "An intense wine that is rich, rounded, dense and solid. Along with its weighty, ripe fruit, there are suggestions of acidity. Layered with botrytis flavors.
Barrel Sample: 94-96 Points"
James Suckling - "A super intense and lively Sauternes with dried pineapple, flan and botrytis spice character. Full and very muscular with racy acidity and a wicked finish. This is structured and powerful. Can't feel that much sweetness yet it is. Cross between 2003 and 2005?
Barrel Sample: 95-96 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Bright golden yellow. Brooding nose of lemon, quince, pineapple, minerals and saffron complicated by tangy botrytis. Rich and dense in the mouth, with racy acidity lifting and extending the mineral and ripe citrus flavors. Finishes rich, dense and very long, with lingering floral and ripe citrus nuances. This Guiraud is still very much an infant and is likely to develop more slowly than most other 2011s, but it's destined to be a great wine for this estate.
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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.