3 Best Value Sauternes

Sauternes offer of 2020!

A couple of months ago we featured what we thought was a healthy final allocation of Château Raymond-Lafon 2013, our Sauternes offer of last year. Unfortunately this sold out in a day. While you might think we would be happy about that, as much as we like to sell wine, it would be our preference for stocks to last a bit longer and give everyone the opportunity to purchase. We quickly went to work on a 'sticky' offer that could rightfully be the Sauternes offer of this year. We couldn't find one. We found three!

As you will see from the following reviews, all of these wonderful Sauternes are worthy and their quality price ratio really is off the charts. However, what excites me most, apart from the high ratings from the biggest names, is that they represent varying pricepoints and varying bottle age. While the Carmes de Rieussec (of Lafite Rothschild fame) is the undeniable bargain, I would argue given the age, ratings and relative price of the Premier Grand Cru Classé pair of Guiraud and Suduiraut that these are even better bargains. As the drinking windows will illustrate you can go long here with confidence.

A couple of disclaimers. I will again apologise in advance that stocks are limited and secondly, prices are for one week only.

Carmes de Rieussec 2017 375ml @ $29.99

The 2017 Carmes de Rieussec is dazzling. Here, too, the winemaking team captured a striking balance of richness and energy. Most second wines from Sauternes these days are light and floral. The Carmes has plenty of those qualities, but it is far from an easygoing Sauternes; rather it packs a serious punch. Lemon confit, passion fruit, exotic flowers and mint meld into the creamy, resonant finish. Date Tasted: March 2020; Drink: 2022 - 2032; Rating: 93 Points; Antonio Galloni; Vinous

A lovely second wine with cooked apples and peaches. Honey, too. Full-bodied, very sweet and bright. January 2020. Rating: 93 Points; James Suckling

Composed of 94% Semillon, 3% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Muscadelle, the pale lemon-gold colored 2017 Carmes de Rieussec comes bounding out of the glass with rambunctious scents of candied citrus peel, pineapple tart, green mango and fresh apricots with hints of honeycomb, musk perfume and lime blossoms. The medium to full-bodied palate explodes with tropical and stone fruit flavors, offering seamless freshness and a long, honey-laced finish. Yum! Tasted: March 2020; Drink: 2020 - 2034; Rating: 91 Points; Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW; Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

Guiraud 2009 375ml @ $59.99

The 2009 Guiraud is one of the gems of Sauternes this vintage, one of the finest offerings in recent years. It has a wonderful, beautifully delineated bouquet with expressive scents of wild honey, orange pith, Seville orange marmalade and just a hint of pineapple. The palate is beautifully defined with pure botrytised fruit, supremely well balanced with a vivacious, ginger and white pepper tinged finish that lingers long in the mouth. Outstanding. Drink: 2019 - 2055; Rating: 97 Points; Antonio Galloni; Vinous

Outer quote mark 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. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. Also #5 of Top 100 Wines of 2012; Rating: 96 Points; James Molesworth; Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark 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. Rating: 96 Points; James Suckling

Suduiraut 2007 375ml @ $59.99

Powered by dry botrytis, this is a wine with immense potential. It has weight, complexity and richness, all under the cloak of botrytis. To leaven the power, there is acidity, but this is certainly for aging. Cellar Selection. Wine Enthusiast Best Buy of the Year. Rating: 97 Points; Roger Voss; Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Dried lemon and floral aromas lead to loads of botrytis spice and bitter lemon peel in this young, full-bodied sweetie, with hints of lively lime and honey. Medium sweet. Very intense. Best after 2014. Rating: 95 Points; James Suckling; Wine Spectator

A similar bouquet to the bottle I last encountered in 2016. It opens gradually with scents of dried honey, apricot blossom and a touch more melted wax than I recall. The palate is very well balanced with intense botrytised fruit, a fine line of acidity, perhaps just a little drier than it was a couple of years back, though developing intriguing notes of mandarin, tangerine, white pepper and Clementine. It is drinking beautifully now although it will clearly continue to age gracefully over another two decades. 131gm/L residual sugar. Tasted at the Suduiraut vertical at the château. Drink: 2019 - 2050; Rating: 94 Points; Neal Martin; Vinous



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Offers available until 5pm AEST the Tuesday following the date of publication assuming stocks last.
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