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Chateau Guiraud Sauternes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Ripe, botrytized fruit currently dominates this wine with its rich concentration. It is a full and liquorous wine that will age for many years. Drink from 2025.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
JS 95
James Suckling
This is very sweet and spicy with lots of dried lemons and pineapple as well as mangoes. Full body, a dense palate and a flavorful finish. Phenolic and chewy.
Barrel Sample: 94-95
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Lively, featuring orange peel, white peach, almond cream and apricot flavors that stay juicy and brightly defined. Elegant overall, with power in reserve.
Barrel Sample: 92-95
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
Another rockstar Sauternes is the 2017 Château Guiraud, which has the freshness and purity of the vintage, yet ample depth and richness. Caramelized limes, citrus, and ample minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, impeccably balanced dessert wine. Its acidity is present yet integrated, and it has a great mid-palate and a big finish, all pointing to this being a beautiful Sauternes with a long life.
Barrel Sample: 93-95
D 94
Decanter
Silky and concentrated, this is one of the successes of the appellation for me. It has lovely zest and zip, with touches of candied ginger and a fresh lift on the finish. It manages to give shade and light more than most in the vintage, but is just a little shorter than in some previous years. Very good quality, reminiscent of the 2009.
Barrel Sample
TA 94
Tim Atkin
Fairly deep golden colour. Some youthful raw oak scents, with plenty of honeyed crystallised fruit. Inviting. Good balancing acidity and freshness, plenty of deep palate weight. long, warm, honeyed finish.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2017 Guiraud gives notes of baked apples, crème brûlée and preserved mandarin peel with touches of crushed rocks and fungi. It delivers great elegance in the mouth with loads of spicy apple and savory flavors, finishing on an earthy note.
Barrel Sample: 91-93
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Chateau Guiraud

Chateau Guiraud

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Chateau Guiraud, France - Other regions
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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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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.

BANF422737_2017 Item# 422737