2011 1er Cru Classé Sauternes

Origin France, Bordeaux
District Left Bank
Sub-district Sauternes-Barsac
Village Sauternes
Classification 1er Cru Classé

For me this was the one of the 1er Cru Classé big names (Yquem apart) which seemed to be a complete wine. Very rich and waxy, and a very solid, full style on the palate. Richly honeyed, really quite a monster of sweetness (a record 150g/l), but could still do with a little more definition. Like most estates this year there was no need for the great number of pickings that are normally required - the first tri was in early September, but was not a great success, more a question of cleaning out the vineyard, and high in acetic acid. Then there was a widespread and even development of botrytis and the majority of the harvest was brought in in one picking. The little that was left was picked in early October, and it was this that brought the welcome acidity. Rating: 93-93 L&S (Aug 2019)

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There is an attractive mix of candied fruits apricot and peach with caramelized orange peel. The start of the palate has a sumptuous richness fleshy and sweet but there is freshness a touch of citrus that balances and brings out the fragrances on the finish. 2020-40 Rating: 93 Derek Smedley MW,

Good and subtle but not as dramatic as Guiraud. Big and rich. 2018-2038 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE -

Picked over three tries through the vineyard from September 12 until October 5, the Suduiraut 2011 has 150 grams per liter residual sugar counterbalanced by a pH of 3.7. It has an intense nose, albeit one that takes time to unfurl in the glass, offering attractive notes of citrus lemon, minerals, apricot and quince suffused with great tension. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp, citrus-led fruit mingling with apricot and quince. It has less bravura and ambition than the 2009 or 2010, and you might consider it a Barsac-like Suduiraut due to its racy acidity. It has wonderful focus and satisfying length, and it should drink well both early and with age. Drink 2014-2035. Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin,

A beautifully creamy purity to the nose here, defined and rich, with bright and pale-golden fruit. The palate is pure, restrained, with really good depth and grit to it. There is purity laid over a fine substance here, the grip and concentration of fruit promising botrytis-rich complexity to come, the acidity fresh, the overall package harmonious and elegant. Overall a very impressive composition. Rating: 18.5-19.5 Chris Kissack,

Short harvest – three tries between 12 September and 5 October. The finest was the second, which constitutes the heart of the wine. 93% Sémillon, 7% Sauvignon Blanc. 16-18 months in oak, 50% new. Pale gold. Fragrant, light spice, creamy lemon and a touch of pineapple. Subtle first impression. Some green fruits as well as lemon and orange-rind freshness. Vital and long and utterly clean. Rich but beautifully fresh so it seems less than its 150 g/l. Very viscous and spicy on the palate. Intense and concentrated and long. Deep too. All through there is a tension that seems to be mineral rather than fruit. Mouthwatering finish. 2020-2035 Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW,

Opulence meets fresh acidity. Unctuous on the palate and heavier than its classic style with 150g per litre of residual sugar, but the firm acidity balances the sweetness well. A powerful wine that will age for decades. Drink 2025-2047. Rating: 18.5

Superlively, with orange blossom, white cherry, pineapple, apricot and peach flavors all bouncing off one another. The long, piecrust-framed finish lets it all hang together nicely. Rating: 94-97 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator

Stylishly oaked with viscous, peach and honeycomb fruit, this is subtle and well balanced with luscious stone fruit flavours, a hint of lemon tartness, good freshness and enough acidity to balance the 150g/l of sweetness. This should develop more gravitas in barrel over the next year as the wine fattens out. 8+ years. Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW,

A Sauternes that grows on the palate with beautiful dried pineapple, honey and spice character. Full and compacted with a dense palate and a sweet palate. 150 grams of residual sugar. Long and very intense with so much going on. Lively. Subtle and changes all the time in the glass. Rating: 95-96 James Suckling,

Château Suduiraut

Sauternes Premier Cru 1855 The de Suduiraut family lived on their estate in Preignac at least as far back as 1580. In the later years of the 17th Century, a dispute with the local Governor led to the château being flattened. In response, Comte Blaise de Suduiraut rebuilt in lavish manner, with gardens laid out by King Louis XIV's designer. Since the de Suduiraut's time there have been many owners, but today it is in the very capable hands of AXA Millésimes. The 92ha of vineyard are planted with 90% Semillon and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. There is a second wine, which takes its name from a neighbouring estate that was absorbed into Suduiraut in 1831, and is called Castelnau de Suduiraut.

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