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Sauternes

Sweet and unctuous but delightfully charming ...

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Sweet and unctuous but delightfully charming, the finest Sauternes typically express flavors of exotic dried tropical fruit, candied apricot, dried citrus peel, honey or ginger and a zesty beam of acidity.

Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle are the grapes of Sauternes. But Sémillon's susceptibility to the requisite noble rot makes it the main variety and contributor to what makes Sauternes so unique. As a result, most Sauternes estates are planted to about 80% Sémillon. Sauvignon is prized for its balancing acidity and Muscadelle adds aromatic complexity to the blend with Sémillon.

Botrytis cinerea or “noble rot” is a fungus that grows on grapes only in specific conditions and its onset is crucial to the development of the most stunning of sweet wines.

In the fall, evening mists develop along the Garonne River, and settle into the small Sauternes district, creeping into the vineyards and sitting low until late morning. The next day, the sun has a chance to burn the moisture away, drying the grapes and concentrating their sugars and phenolic qualities. What distinguishes a fine Sauternes from a normal one is the producer’s willingness to wait and tend to the delicate botrytis-infected grapes through the end of the season.

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  • Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 1989
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (slightly torn label) 1989
      Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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    • Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 1989
      Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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        Chateau Rieussec Sauternes 1989
        Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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          • Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1989
            Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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            • RP97
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            • Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 1989
              Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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              • RP97
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            • Flat front label of wine
              Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes 1989
              Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
              • JS98
              • WS94
              • RP93
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