Vibrant, rich and seductive. An enticing contradiction of sweet and savoury.
Luminous and charged golden colour, rich aromas of candied peach, apricot, dates, raisins, orange blossom, honey and saffron with hints of flint stone. On the palate sweet and velvety balanced by high acidity and saline qualities, intense flavours with a clean, mineral finish and long persistence.
This is a high-intensity wine with a full body and powerful aromas that needs a dish equally as potent. There’s enough acidity to be paired with creamy foods and the sweetness could be balanced by spices. Some examples include: Foie Gras with balsamic vinaigrette, Gorgonzola cheese, panna cotta with berry jam.
Château Suduiraut is located in the AOC region of Sauternes in Bordeaux, France along the banks of the Garonne. It is adjacent to the renowned Château d’Yquem and besides being known as one of the finest Sauternes, the estate is also one of the most stunning in Bordeaux. The property dates back to 1580 when Leonard de Suduiraut married Nicole d’Allard, taking possession of the land as her dowry. Subsequently, the Château, vineyards and gardens were renovated in the 17th century under Count Blaise, who hired the designer of the gardens of Versailles to design the grounds surrounding the Château.
The vineyards occupy 92 hectares of the 200 hectares of the estates, found on sloping hillsides with gravel, sand, limestone and clay soils. While the main Sauternes wine is Château Suduiraut, Castelnau de Suduiraut is a younger version debuting in 1992, recommended also as a pre dinner drink.
Sauternes is made from a blend of 3 white grapes: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. The grapes are handpicked one grape at a time to select the best grapes with the “noble rot”, Botrytis Cinerea. For this wine, the grapes are fermented in French oak and the wine is aged on its lees for 18-24 months. These wines have an excellent ageing potential and don’t reach full maturity until 15-40 years depending on the vintage.
Essential to the creation of Sauternes is the presence of Botrytis Cinerea, a necrotrophic fungus that forms a grey mold around the grapes. The region of Sauternes is highly susceptible to this fungus, normally considered a disease for plants, due to the influence of two nearby rivers, the Garonne and the Cirone. Cooler water flowing from the Cirone creates a foggy mist which floats over the vineyards in the mornings, later dissipating in the afternoon sun. This alteration between humidity and warmth, alongside a good ventilation, are perfect conditions for this “novel rot”.
Botrytis Cinerea spreads on the skin of the grapes producing enzymes in a biochemical process which consumes a large part of the sugars and tartaric, malic and citric acid, leading the inside of the grape skins to disintegrate. This causes the grapes to change colour from pink to purple to brown in a sort of slow, enzymatic maceration.
Over time, the afternoon sun and wind accelerate the evaporation of water contained in the grapes, causing them to shrink in size while creating a high concentration of sugars, glycerine, and aroma compounds. In addition, this type of enzymatic maceration disintegrates the pigments in the grapes making the wine much more resistant and able to age for decades.
The end result is a decadent and complex wine cherished by wine lovers around the world.