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Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 2011

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0% ABV
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4.2 26 Ratings
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4.2 26 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#12 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014

The crop was small – barely 9 hl/ha this year – but of superb quality. A hail storm on Easter Monday (25 April at 6 pm) led to the estimated loss of 40% of the crop, and as much as 80% in certain parts of the vineyard... The wine taste remarkably good: concentrated, aromatic, and complex. The speed with which thegrapes became concentrated preserved magnificent vivaciousness. The wines are truly brilliant.

Blend: 65% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 99
James Suckling
This wine has exceptional clarity, balance and freshness, with lots of spicy botrytis character. Full body, medium-sweet and a crisp finish. It’s racy and refined. What’s impressive is the intensity of noble rot that makes the wine feel almost dry. This is the greatest wine ever made here. Made from organic grapes. Try in 2017, but already delicious to drink.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
A large-scale version, with seamlessly layered notes of almond cream, apricot, ginger, mango, piecrust, papaya and toasted hazelnut. The long, spice-infused finish shows ample depth, echoing with an enticing tarte Tatin note. Best from 2016 through 2035.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
The first impression is of the dry botrytis that has infused the wine. Then comes the acidity and crisp lemon flavor. Gradually, ripe marmalade and fragrant honey come out along with acidity. It’s a fascinating, complex wine worthy of a wait. Drink from 2019.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted blind at the Sauternes 2011 horizontal tasting. After Yquem and Doisy-Védrines, the Château Guiraud 2011 seems a little muted on the nose, but that is not fair because it is well defined and very focused, gradually unfurling to reveal scents of honey, orange blossom and quince. The palate is well balanced with a fine line of acidity. This is a more understated Sauternes, harmonious and nonchalant in style, but don’t be fooled because there is great tension, delineation and poise on the finish, the fruit seamlessly bound with the new oak. This appears to have gained elegance and complexity in bottle, ergo my higher score.
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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.

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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.

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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.

CVBCHGUSA375_2011 Item# 129173