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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 Coutet (375ML half-bottle) 1998
    Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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      • Chateau Rieussec Sauternes (half-bottle) 1998
        Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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            Barton & Guestier Sauternes 1998
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                Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes (bin soiled label) 1998
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                  Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
                  Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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                      Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes 1998
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                        Chateau Rieussec Sauternes 1998
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                        • Flat front label of wine
                          Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 1998
                          Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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