Michel Bettane questions whether this is the most perfect vintage ever for Sauternes...

2009 Sauternes

2009, as soon as the wines were made, was greeted by all Sauternes growers as one of the most perfect, or even the most perfect vintage they remember.

An exceptional summer, rich in many sunny and luminous days and relatively fresh nights, was completed in perfect fashion for this area by 45mm of rain in the middle of September, allowing an immediate and complete invasion of the famous ‘botrytis cinerea’ (noble rot fungus) on perfectly ripe berries.

Most properties picked their entire crop with just two or three passages in the vines, and got juices far above 20 degrees of potential alcohol, which is an absolute record! As the yield too is a record (25hl/ha or more), the general enthusiasm is easy to understand. The wines are reminiscent of the 1990 vintage with more body and definition, or for older growers, 1949 and 1921. The overall level of my tasting marks is unmatched.