Thursday, August 25, 2011

Drinking Sauternes a whole day...

Château d'Yquem

We spent a whole day drinking Sauternes... wonder if that is really healthy? Looking back it wasn't difficult. Wine tasting at the premier cru classé Château Coutet.... Lunch at the one star Michelin restaurant Claude Darroze with three different Sauternes.... and a visit to the legendary Château d'Yquem... tasting a 2008 Yquem was a great way to end a great day! (My anniversary might have had something to do with all this).

This day was organised by the Sauternes tourist office. I very rarely participate in organised events but I really appreciated this one!

I learned that Sauternes is a very small wine district. It represents about one percent of the Bordeaux region total production. The area has a micro climate due to topological reasons. The cold river Ciron falls into the warmer river Garonne, creating morning fog in autumn that spreads over the Sauternes area but is kept within it by the pine trees on one side and the slope on the right side of the Garonne river. Perfect for the Botrytis Cynerea, the fungus responsible for the noble rot necessary to create this sweet wine. And even better with the warm and sunny afternoons, needed to mature the raisin.

I also learned that at Yquem they harvest by hand, raisin after raisin, passing several times by the same grapes to pick them at the perfect moment. They are famous for their quality requirements, so tough that some years they don't even produce a wine with their grapes. (In that case they sell them anonymously as Sauternes grapes...)

Château Coutet

Lunch at Claude Darroze, among many other delicate servings, what about lamb with your Sauternes? (I don't even show the foie gras crème brulée, nor the lobster ravioli or the Aquitaine caviar...)

Look at the different colors of our three sauternes, the deepest being from 1973... and the other two both 2005.

View over the Yquem vines... the castle is on top of a small hill.

Old traditions...

The Yquem grapes before the fungus start its action.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Please say hello! It is so nice to see if somebody has read a post!

Related Posts with Thumbnails