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First-rate second growth

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Sauternes 2008, Château Doisy-Védrines ($25.50/350 ml, 11843177)
A 2ième cru classé de Barsac (Barsac is one of five Sauternes communes; its AOC wines can be labelled Sauternes or Barsac at the producer’s discretion). Sémillon (80%), Sauvignon Blanc (17%) and Muscadelle (3%). Manually harvested in multiple passes through the vineyard. Gently pressed then fermented for three to four weeks in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Matured 15 to 18 months in French oak barrels, around two-thirds of which are new. Filtered and fined before bottling. 13.5% ABV.
Classic nose: peach, citrus (orange? Meyer lemon?), hints of tropical fruit, honey, butterscotch, sweet oak and botrytis. Lush but not heavy, sweet but not cloying, in no small part due to the lively acidity. The fruit hasn’t totally lost its connection with the grape – not a given in Bordeaux’s sweet wines. Otherwise, the palate echoes the nose. A light wash of coconut and vanilla colours the long finish, which is blessedly free of the solvent notes that occasionally show up in Sauternes. Not as deep as some overachievers but with stuffing and balance enough to age for at least a decade. For now though, it’s delicious on its own and will surely accompany traditional pairings like Roquefort and foie gras to a T. (Buy again? Yes.)

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Written by carswell

February 22, 2014 at 20:03

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