Nairac Sauternes 2009
Other Dessert from Sauternes and Barsac, Bordeaux, France
The Wine Advocate - "This could be Nicolas Tari’s finest Nairac to date. It has an impressive, intense bouquet with honey, white flowers, orange peel and a touch of toffee apple on the nose. It is missing a little clarity at first, but it clears marvelously with just a few swirls of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with superb viscosity and weight. It is very well-balanced with outstanding purity and tension: notes of honey, peach and a little spice. There is great length on the finish that lingers tantalizingly in the mouth. Superb."
International Wine Cellar - "Pale, full yellow. Racy aromas of pear, apple, peach and marzipan, with enticing floral lift and a hint of botrytis in the background. Suave and fine-grained, this Barsac displays very intense and sweet flavors of apple jelly, ripe pear and pineapple, yet remains wonderfully light on its feet for such an opulent wine. Subtle, restrained and impeccably balanced wine, offering sneaky concentration and very good finishing grip. A pretty note of apple cider lingers long. This is yet another great Nairac in the making; the wines from this estate have been magnificent in recent years, and it's hard to think of a better sweet wine for the money. If you must buy just a single Sauternes in '09, this might be the one.
Range: 92-95 Points"
Wine Enthusiast - "In this concentrated wine, an opulent botrytis character dominates. Notes of yellow and citrus fruits combine with a lemon-flavored honey accent to produce a wine that has both richness and intense acidity. It needs to age."
Wine Spectator - "Rich, with seemingly languid persimmon, quince and glazed peach flavors, this quickly picks up a racy feel, with toasted almond and orange blossom notes running through the finish. Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle."
James Suckling - "This is so delicious with thick honey and dried fruit character. Full body, medium sweet and lots of dried fruits. Almost oily. Long and intense."
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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.