Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Chateau Coutet (stained label) 2001

  • RP93
  • WS93
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine is of a beautiful coppery gold color with amber glints. The nose is very expressive and opens on a bouquet of aromatic notes where one can find dry apricots, vanilla, and mango. Once aerated, the wine brings forth fresher notes of citrus fruits and preserved lemon. The wine on the palate is generous yet very fresh for the vintage, with a well-developed back bone, marked with cherry plum liqueur and preserved nectarine. The middle palate evolves toward more complex notes of white pepper and saffron with a touch of cinnamon, while keeping a pleasant, fruity freshness. This vintage is rich and full, both aromatic and well balanced... it shines through with thanks to its strong character and freshness.

Blend: 90% Sémillon, 9% Sauvignon Blanc, 1% Muscadelle

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I tasted two bottles of the Coutet 2001. The first had a distinct, rather pungent aniseed element on the nose and a slight bitterness on the palate. Calling for a second example, this is much more representative. Here is a typical Coutet nose that is just beginning to find its groove: barley sugar and quince scents typifying Barsac, augmented by Seville orange and lime. The palate is viscous and extremely well focused with fine mineralité and tension. It feels quite youthful and linear vis-à-vis its peers and concludes with a tangy, marmalade-lavished finish. This is ageing nicely though at the same time, I would suggest that the Baly family have surpassed this with subsequent vintages.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Lots of lemon and maple syrup on the nose, with dried apricots. Full-bodied, with a very sweet and rich palate of candied lemon and orange rinds and a long finish. Beautifully sticky. Not quite as exciting as from barrel but clearly outstanding.
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Chateau Coutet

Chateau Coutet

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Chateau Coutet, France
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An English fortress built in the 13th Century, this citadel with its square tower, a design typical of the era’s military constructions, became a wine producing estate in 1643. Previously owned by the Lur-Saluces family, the property was home to Chateau d’Yquem’s horse stables, transformed in the late 19th Century into a 110-meter long cellar (the longest in the appellation). A second round tower in the property’s northern plot, a Chateau Coutet landmark, was built originally to breed pigeons and peacocks for the region’s Gascon lords. Vertical wine presses from the 1920s, a 14th Century chapel and a Bordeaux cobblestone courtyard are a testament to the estate’s rich architectural and regional history.

Thomas Jefferson celebrated Chateau Coutet as the best Sauternes from Barsac during his ambassadorship to France. In 1855, recognized for its continued excellence, the estate was classified as a first growth. Today, Chateau Coutet stays true to its tradition of distinction and quality by producing the finest Barsac year after year. With an average age of 35 years, the vines of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle have developed a network of deep roots to extract elements from the limestone and clay-based terroir, giving the grapes freshness, richness and strength. For this reason, the wine carries the name "Coutet," derived from the Gascon's word for knife, to signify the fresh, lively and crisp palate taht is the estate's signature style.

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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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Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.

Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.

Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.

Rutherglen is an historic wine region in northeast Victoria, Australia, famous for its fortified Topaque and Muscat with complex tawny characteristics.

MMR131715_2001 Item# 131715

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