Having tasted the wines of Sauternes and Barsac renowned French journalist Michel Bettane is as enthusiastic as his Left and Right Bank colleagues.
‘It’s quite evident that Sauternes is a great vintage,’ he said. ‘They are big wines, with a lot of everything – fruit and alcohol, and the acidity is excellent, even better than in 1997 and 2001.’
Sauternes and Barsac are remarkable this year for being excellent across the board. ‘Even second-class properties made very complete wines. This is a vintage for lovers of Sauternes.’
Bettane also remarked on a another unique feature of Sauternes this year: the speed with which the harvest was completed.
Botrytis – noble rot – came around 20 September, with the grapes at full ripeness, meaning they had to be picked as quickly as possible.
This led to some properties – Chateau Climens in particular – picking full bunches of grapes instead of selecting individual botrytised berries in three or four passes down the rows, as is more normal.
Written by Adam Lechmere in Bordeaux