Chateau Raymond-Lafon Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 1988
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 1988 possesses an opulent, full-bodied, exotic, lavishly rich personality, moderate sweetness, and huge quantity of extract, glycerin, and alcohol in its finish. The wine is also extremely young and unevolved. The 1988 offers a refined aromatic profile and tight structure. It can be drunk now, but purchasers are advised to wait until the turn of the century and enjoy it over the following two decades.
In 1972, Francine and Pierre Meslier acquired the Château. An agricultural engineer from Montpellier, Pierre Meslier was able to apply his considerable experience with Sauternes wines to the agricultural running of his vineyard as well as to the vinification and the maturing in barrel of the wines of Château Raymond-Lafon. As for Francine Meslier, a vital participant in the estate's history, she took over the day-to-day management of the château.
Since 1990, their children Marie-Françoise, Charles-Henri, and Jean-Pierre have continued their parents' work. Surrounded by the most renowned Sauternes vineyards, our vineyard enjoys an ideal location and combines the best conditions to produce a great Sauternes.
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.
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. Popularized in Bordeaux, the blend is often mimicked throughout the New World. Somm Secret—Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but they can be served before, during or after a meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage.