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Sauternes harvest latest ever

Sauternes chateaux are still working on one of the latest vintages on record.

Properties expecting to finish today or tomorrow include Chateau Guiraud, Chateau Raymond Lafont and Chateau Suduiraut. Chateau d’Yquem finished on October 29.

Laure Compeyrot at 14ha first growth Chateau Sigalas Rabaud told decanter.com she will be finishing her last pass through the vineyards today.

‘Even with this drawn out harvest, yields will only be around 13 hectolitres per hectare (hl/h),’ she said. ‘The best grapes have already been brought in, and my final harvest today, for the first time ever for my estate, will go to a generic Sauternes bottling.’

Jean-Pierre Meslier at Chateau Raymond Lafon said, ‘We are down to around half of our usual yield – perhaps as low as 5 hl/h – but the quality is magnificent.’

Veteran consultant and proprietor of Sauternes Chateau Doisy-Daëne, Denis Dubourdieu said, ‘I am a Sauternes producer so could be accused of being judge and jury, but I will put on my wine consultant and professor hat.

‘The average yields were between 5 and 10 hl/hI. don’t think it will be comparable in quality to 2007, which was exceptional, but it will be a very good year – comparable to 2002 or 2006.’

‘It won’t have the complexity of 2007 or 2001, but will still be at the higher end of the quality scale – far better, for example, than 2000 or 1998.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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