Yellow like a ray of sunshine concentrated in a glass, Sauternes offers strong emotions. A unique, unpredictable wine produced along the banks of the Garonne. Let's find out everything there is to know about one of the most famous French AOCs, with six simple questions and answers.
Where is Sauternes produced?
It is produced in France, in the Bordeaux region, along the Garonne river, which reaches 80 meters deep Chateau d'Yquen.
How is Sauternes grown?
Sauternes is a sweet wine made from grapes affected by Botrytis Cinerea .
The Ciron is a small river that comes from the Landes and brings cooler water to the Garonne, causing the morning fog essential for the appearance of the famous mold. But this would not be sufficient if a short period of humidity - necessary for the development of this mold - was not followed by a longer and drier one. The latter allows the dehydration of the grapes (therefore their enrichment in sugar and glycerin), the reduction of tartaric and malic acids and the carrying out of the chemical reactions that will make the wines of this area unique.
With which grapes is Sauternes produced?
The blend that gives life to these great wines is made up on average of 70% sémillon, 25% sauvignon blanc and the remaining part muscadelle.
Problems related to Sauternes production?
The grapes destined for the production of Sauternes suffer greatly from atmospheric excesses: both the abundant rains which would cause the mold to degenerate and the prolonged drought which could prevent its development.
What are Sauternes like?
As for the organoleptic characteristics, the color of Sauternes changes to infinite shades between ancient gold and amber, to decline after about twenty years towards magnificent darker shades, similar to those of tea.
Sauternes has an impressive olfactory breadth, which the French translate into goût de rôti, a term inspired by the aromas of fruits roasted by the heat of the sun. In fact, the nose expresses hints of quince and citrus fruits, apricot and peach, rowan and medlar, which intertwine with accents of spices - saffron above all - which sometimes characterizes the aroma of these wines in an unexpected way.
Silky, enveloping and sweet, this wine slides into the mouth with very long flavors of honey, beeswax and dried apricots. And its evolution can reach a century!
What does Sauternes pair with?
Sauternes is a unique wine, perfect for long conversations and therefore to be enjoyed as a meditation wine .
These wines can be enhanced in varied and contrasting combinations : from freshly pan-seared foie gras with raisins and traditional balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia to game terrines, from blue cheeses to fruit-based desserts, such as charlotte biscuits with apricot with blancmange.
Served cold, Sauternes are also perfect as an aperitif .