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Chateau Doisy Vedrines Barsac 1996

Bordeaux White Blends from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Doisy Vedrines

    Chateau Doisy Vedrines

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    Chateau Doisy Vedrines, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
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    Barsac has lived for centuries in pace with wine. The stones of the walls bordering the vineyards were quarried, long ago, from the pebbly and clayey-limestone land which constitutes the "noble soils" of the commune. Alongside Chateau Climens and Chateau Coutet, in the finest vine-growing area of the commune, once called "Haut-Barsac", one of the oldest estates of the region is to be found : Château Doisy Vedrines.

    This noble manor and its vineyards were one called Doizic, and in the middle of the 17th century, belonged to Jean Raymond, a Registrar with the Guyenne Borard of Excice. Although a resident of Bordeaux, in February 1677 he pledged "fealty and allegiance" to the king for this noble estate and fief of Doisy situated between Preignac and Barsac in the county of the Gironde.

    In June 1704, the land and its buildings were included in the dowry of his grand-daughter and god-daughter, Marie Raymond. On June 5, 1704, in the presence of Guillaume Roborel, court barrister and representative of the king at the royal seat in the parish of Barsac, as well as of the dignitaries of the village, she married Jean-Baptiste Védrines, court barrister and son of Jean Védrines, also court barrister and judge at Sainte-Livrade in the Agen region. Hence, the fief of Doisy became Doisy-Védrines.

    Sauternes

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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.

    Bordeaux White Blends

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    Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added interest. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington, and Australia.

    In the Glass

    Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime, and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex, and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile, and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of noble rot, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

    Perfect Pairings

    Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil, and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras, or fruit-based desserts.

    Sommelier Secret

    Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but smart sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during, or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

    CSF28183_1996 Item# 6562