Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes 2009

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.

Food pairings:

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 in Bordeaux, France
Château Suduiraut in Bordeaux, France

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 gardens of Château Suduiraut designed by the same person who designed the gardens of Versailles
The gardens of Château Suduiraut designed by the same garden designer of Versailles

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.

Grapes effected by Botrytis Cinerea
Grapes effected by Botrytis Cinerea

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.

Changing colours of grapes effected by Botrytis Cinerea
Changing colours of grapes effected by Botrytis Cinerea

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.

13 Comments

  1. Quite a while since I had an Yquem, but it seems almost impossible to write about ANY Sauternes without mentioning it! I quite like Doisey Dubroca too.

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      1. That was fun! It got my sensory profile but not really the wines I like or my personal traits. Guess I’m too curious! Would love to read the book, there’s just so much to read and so many wines to try 😮

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It says I like intensity and lots of flavour, but I don’t consider myself a dramatic person as it suggested, and I don’t like buttery, oaked Chardonnay. I much prefer a fresh and clean white, more towards Sauvignon Blanc. Could taste profiles be different for wine and food?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So you’re classified as a Tolerant too? This profile also says for me “big bold wines, oak etc….” but I’m addicted to Pinot Noir, lighter styles of Chablis and gentle Sauvignon Blanc from St Bris or Menetou Salon! Take the results with a pinch of oak, but the concept is a good one … I wrote to Tim Hanni about the link between the questions and the Vinotypes, the sample size and sample subjects in the original research (yes I’m a psychologist geek) having read the original research papers. He generally agreed that the flaws of validity and reliability were being addressed with new research of a wider and larger sample size.
        By the way, do you read books on a Kindle reader or IPad or buy physical books?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’m sure there’s lots of grey areas in psychology! But it would definitely be an interesting read. I read both paper books and books on kindle, especially if I can’t find them here in English! Is this one on kindle?

        Liked by 1 person

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