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Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2009

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      Winemaker Notes

      #5 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

      Interesting nose with a bit of an edge - really appetising as well as very sweet. I failed to spit this one - always a good sign. Very long and a good combination of structure, acidity and very ripe fruit. Tightly laced even if not the sweetest. Interesting smokiness on the nose.

      Critical Acclaim

      All Vintages
      WS 96
      Wine Spectator
      This is a bird of a different feather, with an exotic, vibrant aroma of toasted coconut, followed by an almond cream note that gives way to the core of green fig, papaya, Cavaillon melon and honey. There's stunning richness and mouthfeel, with the power to be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage. Very impressive. Best from 2015 through 2040.
      RP 96
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      Tasted as part of a vertical held at the chateau. The 2009 Guiraud has a complex, precocious bouquet with honeysuckle and jasmine notes, hints of dried honey and white peach. It is tightly wound but very precise. The palate is pure and tense in the mouth – great precision here once again with superbly integrated oak and a lovely, seductive, very viscous botrytis-laden finish. In many ways the 2009 represents the wine that every vintage since 1983 would love to be. Drink 2018-2040+.
      JS 96
      James Suckling
      Gorgeous aromas of dried apricots, apple pie crust and pineapple. Full-bodied, with medium sweetness. Dense and layered. Beautiful now but will improve with age. Drink or hold.
      WE 94
      Wine Enthusiast
      This is a smoky, rich wine that shows evident wood aging. This feature adds weight, though the sweetness is currently muted. It is a wine with potential intensity; the fruit and acidity will emerge in several years.
      Cellar Selection
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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 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 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.

      VIR103950_2009 Item# 121135