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Chateau d'Arche Sauternes 2005

Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
  • WS92
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    • WS95
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      Winemaker Notes

      The 2005 vintage is an elegant wine with good concentration. The nose is both complex and harmonious with a dominance of apricot, orange peel and exotic fruit. On the palate, this wine is very expressive with notes of candied fruit, apricot, melon jam and grilled almonds.

      A very "pure" wine with light wood. The originality of this vintage comes from a great freshness and an abundent mineral backbone that balances out the concentration.

      Critical Acclaim

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      WS 92
      Wine Spectator
      Apple pie and lemon tart aromas follow through to a full body, with medium sweetness and a lively, bright finish of citrusy acidity and spiciness. Very young. Powerful. Best after 2012. 4,165 cases made. –JS
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      Chateau d'Arche

      Chateau d'Arche

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      Chateau d'Arche, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
      2005 Sauternes
      The Château d'Arche is located at the very heart of a 40 hectare vineyard on the small hills surrounding Sauternes. Its unique location allows it to benefit from a particularly favourable climate. The morning mists dispersed by the sun enable the development of Botrytis Cinerea, a bacterium essential for the growth of outstanding Sauternes wines. The vineyard is planted on a variety of soils (70% gravels, 20% clay and 10 % limestone) which allow for the growth of wines with specific gustative qualities: strength from the gravels, aromas from the clays and delicacy from the silts. The North-South axis of the vineyard ensures the grapes a maximum amount of sunshine throughout the day.


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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 biggest 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.

      Other Dessert

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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 late so that 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.

      VCCBWPII_1105_05_2005 Item# 101840