Showing posts with label Sauternes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sauternes. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wine in a Tube! For a cosy tête-à tête. Sweet Sauternes.

Sauternes. Sweet for My Sweet
Wine in a Tube! WIT Or Witless?
Château Lamourette 2005
Château Laville 2001

You've got to hand it to the French, never short of ideas when it comes to marketing. Just been browsing the Maison du Sauternes and came across the WIT (wine in tube). Discover our new concept for a cosy “tête-à tête”. Be astonished. Spend a delicious time - share original Sauternes. Two different wines for moments of delight. This pack contains “S for her” and “S for him”. Special offer. 22€. This price includes postal charges.

Might take a punt on that but then maybe the the revenue might come looking for their share of the proceeds. Maybe not! By the way, I wonder what do they call it in France. WIT or VIT? Looks like WIT on the website.

Just one surprise from Sauternes. The other, for me, on a visit there last year, was that it was quite an ordinary village and indeed the Maison Du Sauternes was one of the bigger buildings there.

Another surprise came in a local restaurant, Auberge des Vignes, where we had an excellent three course Menu du Jour, that also included wine and coffee, all for just sixteen euro per head. Read more about the meal and the village here.

Richard the Lionheart praised the wines of Sauternes in the 12th century and this sweet Bordeaux has been a regular on royal tables since. You’ll pay 1,000 euro or more for the top end but prices start at about 12 euro and that means a Sauternes also appears on more humble tables, including mine!

The World Atlas of Wine, while acknowledging that not all Sauternes is top class all the time, says it is “lamentably underappreciated but incomparable, it is a speciality that finds few real rivals”. "In great vintages the results can be sublime, a very sweet, rich-textured, flower-scented, glittering golden liquid.” Sauternes is widely available in Ireland, not sure though about the tube.

I’m currently enjoying the Lamourette. It comes from a vineyard not too far away at all from the headliner Chateau d’Yquem and is very impressive. It has the usual nose of candied fruit. The palate is creamy, that candied fruit is still there but it is balanced and pleasant with a long spicy finish.

Overall, this is lighter than expected and you could see why the Maison du Sauternes can recommend drinking Sauternes all through a meal, even recommending it with Leg of Venison (which has been marinated in Sauternes, of course!).

It is a sweet wine, no doubt in the world about that. But there is a terrific balance here, a wash of acidity that negates any hint of heaviness or any tendency towards a cloying feel. 2005 saw plenty of noble rot - a good year.

I haven’t tried the Château Laville yet but I'm hugely encouraged by what Jancis Robinson had to say about the 2001 vintage: The rain that spoilt the reds encouraged botrytis to such an extent that this is a truly magnificent, long-term vintage, helped by a greater degree of selection and cellar expertise than ever before. Perhaps the greatest Sauternes vintage in modern times.

For a good insight into Sauternes (including noble rot) see here.
The 2001 Laville is no longer featured on the Maison du Sauternes website but you may check the 2010 here.

The Lamourette now available is the 2009. Info here.

Recipe for the Sauternes Cup

I found this on the website. Doesn't say it is is for one or two. What do you think?
In a large glass bowl, place fruit depending on the season ( apricots, peaches, pears, melon, etc ... ), diced and sliced ​​oranges. Pour the Sauternes (about two glasses per person), add one or two glasses of brandy. Macerate about an hour in the refrigerator. Serve with ice cubes and carbonated water. Sauternes, with the bouquet and strength, lifts the heart: the wine of the happy day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sweet End Sauternes. Good Value Lunch There Too.

Sweet End Sauternes. Good Value Lunch There Too.

Wed 18th June 2014
This extended three week wine tasting in Bordeaux just had to end in Sauternes. And that little village was indeed our destination today, the last of our wine journeys this trip. We enjoyed it, the wine that is, and had  a very agreeable surprise in a local restaurant, Auberge des Vignes, when we had a three course Menu du Jour, that also included wine and coffee, all for just sixteen euro per head.

Our first call though was to Maison de Sauternes, a non profit establishment right in the middle of the village that represents dozens of growers and sells the golden liquid (the older, the more golden generally) that they produce at chateau prices.

Luckily, we met a man with quite good English who guided us through the wines and the tasting. We started off with a very promising Sauterne for just under 12 euro and then moved up in price and age. We didn't want to buy too much dessert wine as simply we don't drink that much of it. We had settled on three bottles but our friend was also a good salesman and we left with four and also some very good advice about their care and travel.

One of those tasted today
Then we strolled around looking for food but a Michelin recommended restaurant was expecting a large number in and we two could end up at the back of the queue so we thanked the young lady and moved on down the road where a few metres later we came across the Auberge des Vignes and its friendly staff.

Couldn't believe the Menu du Jour. Aside from the good price, including unusually wine and coffee, there were also some decent choices, three starters and three desserts for instance. My starter was the Rillettes de Thon (tuna) a la coriander while CL picked the Soupe de Melon a la menthe (mint) fraiche. The third starter was Tomates Mozzarella. Don’t know about the third but ours were excellent.

Neither of us wanted to chance the Faux-filet grillé (we had seen a customer struggling to cut through it) so both picked the Andouillette (chitterlings)  grillé, grilled in the fire inside (we were eating outside on a lovely day). They were served with green beans, onions and bits of bacon, a brilliant combination of flavours and textures.

Enjoyed the tasting here today!
Cheese was one of the dessert options, Rice with Milk another. We picked the Panna Cotta, Poire (pear) roti, caramel, Passion (passionfruit, I presume!). We hadn't been expecting much but this was by far and away the best Panna Cotta I’ve ever had.

Back in Arcachon, I had a walk along the Boulevard Deganne (we are based just off it). It is a lovely street, trees galore, one of the best small town streets that I’ve come across. I came back along the Boulevard de la Plage, on the lookout for wineshops. I found just one and asked him if he stocked a Listrac-Medoc that I’m looking for, a Saransot-Dupre. He told me instantly that he didn't know the wine. I was amazed at that, considering its produced about an hour away.

No point in eating out this evening after our big lunch so, before going back to the house, I picked up a tempting looking Salad Nicoise from the local traiteur. A boiled egg or two is being added and all will be ready soon.

No tasting here today. Nor with a while me thinks!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Barton and Guestier are major players in the French wine scene, with a fascinating heritage going all the way back to 1725. Then the company’s founder, 30 year old Thomas Barton (left), departed his native Ireland and emigrated to Bordeaux.

“As a true adventurer he founded his wine