New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code OCTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code OCTNEW30
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Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2010
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Ripe lemon peel and orange. Some honey and vanilla with loads of new wood. Dense and very sweet on the palate with nice pure fruit and firm tannins from the oak that still needs time to soften. This Sauternes shows a wonderful fruit and excellent potential, but needs time.
A thick, unctuous style, with marzipan, dried pineapple, mango and dried guava notes leading to a good bolt of toasted almond and pie crust on the finish. A muscular, well-stuffed version that will need some time to settle in. Best from 2015 through 2030.
The 2010 Chateau Guiraud has fine purity and minerality on the nose, with touches of passion fruit and dried apricot, later quince joining the fray. The palate is very well-balanced with a lively entry of apricot, quince and a touch of hazelnut. The middle and finish demonstrate fine tension and a lot of freshness. Individual lots seemed to have more race than the final sample, and I suspect it will warrant a higher score once the final blend is in bottle.
Barrel Sample: 91-93 Points
There is a wonderful balance to this wine. It has ripe tropical fruit flavors that are spiced with ginger and lemon zest. At the same time, there is a fine structure with a botrytis core and freshness from pineapple acidity. Drink from 2017.
The harvest takes place in several waves and the grapes are literally picked one by one. This process is not only risky, but accounts for very low yields. It nevertheless results in rich, complex wines.
The quality of Château Guiraud's terroir earned its classification as a First Growth in 1855. The Société Civile Agricole du Château Guiraud is managed by Xavier Planty.
Surrounded by redwood forests and blanketed in atmospheric fog, the Anderson Valley is one of California’s most picturesque appellations. Centered on the Navarro River, the region is kept cool by moist air flowing in from the Pacific Ocean. High and low temperatures can vary as much as 40 or 50 degrees within a single day, allowing for slow and gentle ripening of grapes which will in turn create elegantly balanced wines.
The Anderson Valley is best known for Pinot Noir made in a range of styles from delicate and floral to powerful and concentrated. Chardonnay also shines here, and both varieties are often utilized for the production of some of California’s best traditional method sparkling wines. The region also draws inspiration from Alsace and produces excellent Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris.
One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.
In the Glass
Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.