And the winner is...
Château Laville 2007 Sauternes
The scores were high and the judges unanimous when it came to voting this wine, later revealed as Château Laville 2007, the winner of the Sweet Bordeaux Trophy (Over £10) in 2011. The purity of fruit that marks the 2007 vintage was manifest and the botrytised richness evident. This is, indeed, a luxurious wine.
As it turns out Laville 2007 was made by an expert in the field of noble rot. Jean-Christophe Barbe, whose grandfather established the 20 hectare domaine, wrote his doctoral thesis on the “Composition of Wines Made from Noble Rotted Grapes” and continues as a lecturer and researcher at Bordeaux’s Faculty of Oenology. He has been making Château Laville since 1997 and been fully responsible for the property since 2002.
The vineyard, which has an average age of 40-years, is located in Preignac, overlooking Château Doisy-Védrines on the other side of the Ciron stream in Barsac. Neighbouring estates include Châteaux Bastor-Lamontagne and Haut-Bergeron. Sémillon is the principal grape variety (85%) with an additional 13 percent of Sauvignon Blanc and a pinch of Muscadelle.
The grapes are selectively hand harvested with four to six passages through the vines. “As soon as the botrytis appears we harvest as this helps maintain freshness, fruit and aroma,” says Jean-Christophe Barbe. Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks and the ageing in 400-litre barrels, 80 percent of which are renewed yearly. “This size of barrel allows a harmonious integration of fruit and oak,” he confirms.
tel: +33 556 63 59 45
£20.57 (37.5 cl); Noel Young Wines, The Fine Wine Company, The Butlers Wine Cellar
Written by James Lawther MW