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Chateau Guiraud Le G 2011

Bordeaux White Blends from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
  • WS93
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

A blend of Sauvignon and Semillon grapes that are barrel fermented but do not undergo malolactic secondary fermentation. This gives this rich, focused white wine a beautiful golden color, a beautiful perfume of honey, flowers with flavors figs and candied citrus all backed by a vibrant structure and a kiss of oak.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Lovely peach, persimmon and pear flavors glide along, with a whiff of toast on the creamy yet defined finish.
Barrel Sample: 90-93
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Chateau Guiraud

Chateau Guiraud

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Chateau Guiraud, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
Video of winery

Throughout its history, Chateau Guiraud, Premier Grand Cru Classé in 1855, has always been proud of its independence and has always followed its own path. This domain, with its 128 hectares situated exclusively around the village of Sauternes and its unique combination of grape varieties, is one of the rare properties in France to have created its own conservatory of vine stock varieties. 

In 1996, ever faithful to its pioneering spirit, the vineyard underwent a cultural revolution under the impulse of Xavier Planty, who was at the time manager of Chateau Guiraud, which prohibits the use of all synthetic products. In 2011 Chateau Guiraud became the first Premier Grand Cru Classé in 1855 to be awarded Agriculture Biologique (AB) certification.

The philosophy at Chateau Guiraud is guided by constant questioning and their desire to let nature take its course, thus allowing the vines to achieve their full potential.

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 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.

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 intrigue. 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" called botrytis, can have lush stone fruit and honey characteristics.

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 astute 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, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce or even fried chicken.

WOFBORBOGUI0111_2011 Item# 119699