These note accompany our feature article on a visit to Château Suduiraut.
(2014) Pierre says "2011 is a wonderful vintage. It is in the shadow of '09 and 10, but it is wonderful." We begin to see the little mushroomy note of botrytis, the lovely glycerine and barley sugar, also the lemon peel tang. In the mouth it is the intensity that really sets this apart: the concentration and the 'fat' of the wine is lovely, the glycerol richness persisting through to the finish. Real intensity here, but again there is such lovely freshness, marrying to that richness. 145g/l residual sugar.
(2021) Pierre says the development of Botrytis was excellent in 2010, comparing it to 1990, and that the proportion of 10% Sauvignon is unusually high, because the Sauvignon was so good in this year. It spent 20 months in barrels, 50% new and 50% one year old, and has 145g/l of residual sugar. I've enjoyed several tastings of this vintage over the years, and it's a wine with real charm and elegance, but a fabulously approachable sweetness and easy-drinking appeal. There is honey and quite exotic apricot and mango on the nose, more delicate floral notes flit in and out, as well as the light earthy character of Botrytis. Beautiful fruit and texture on the palate, mouth-filling and glycerine-rich, but that orange and tangerine character of the acidity, that persistent touch of leafiness, gives this real freshness even although the concentration and Botrytis character persists in the long finish. Price for a half bottle.
(2014) The truffle character is pronounced here (Pierre say it reminds him a little of an Alsace Pinot Gris). Such richness, with orange rind and honey, that toffeeish, barley sugar note and a touch of fig. Lovely palate, so glycerol rich, with masses of sweetness and so much weight and texture. An almost chewy concentration, so delightfully balanced, lemon rind and lots of pepper and complexity, but sizzling freshness. 155g/residual sugar.
(2014) A very late harvest. Rather reduced at first, with the nose not quite clear for me. Pierre thought this improved with a little airing, but also that he might stop showing it for a few years as it is shutting down. There is a certainly a gorgeous concentration, and the shimmering finish is delicious. Long and layered, with great fruit and it is indeed a wine with lovely balance and toasty complexity amongst the freshness. 135g/l residual sugar.
(2007) Quite light and lemony, with a deal of vanilla and some delicate nutty aromatics. Palate has fine, fine sweet flavours. Real concentration here and a lovely bitter orange tang.
(2020) Tasted several times, most recently in 2014 (and scored 96) this is probably my favourite of the more recent Suduiraut vintages along with 2001, 2009 and 2010. The colour is a gorgeous burnished gold, and the nose a wonderously deep, smoke, Seville orange and barley sugar confection, notes of fig jam and walnut adding to the warmth of the appeal. On the palate so thick and luscious, the 165g/l of residual sugar meaning it is sweetly mouth-filling, glycerine and honey-rich, with such wonderfully poised acidity giving perfect balance. Just brilliant Sauternes this, undoubtedly with the capacity to cellar further, but utterly delicious now.
(2005) Bright yellow colour. Refined honey and gentle peach nose, with modest nutty and toasty notes. A sense of harmony. The palate has lots of pear and succulent apricot and juicy nectarine, with super richness and sweetness, but perhaps missing a little real complexity. Lovely bite, lovely racy acidity extending the finish, but shows this vintage's slight lack of botrytis complexity perhaps?
(2004) Big, burnished, orange, toast and buttery quince fruit on the nose. Immediately striking. Racy and elegant on the palate, with fine, fine fruit and excellent length.
(2021) A wine I have been lucky enough to enjoy regularly since first tasting it 'en primeur' in 2003, this was from a half bottle and was absolutely glorious. The nose of this has always fascinated, not only heaving with a depth of marmalade, honey and toast, but the exoticism of saffron and candied fruits, and a wonderful suggestion of truffle and dry, Botrytis-rich curry-leaf. In the mouth it is so concentrated, so vital, the intensity of the dried apricot and Seville orange, mouth-filling sweetness, beeswax weight and richness, then the clarity of confit lemon, mineral salts and again, that truffle character adding soulful depth. Quite majestic. Price quoted is for a half bottle.
(2003) Again, quite a delicate wine, with more honeyed botrytis notes and floral nuances. This is very attractive. The palate has lovely fruit; sweet and pure, with concentrated apricot character and quite lush. Good balance and excellent length. Best Sauternes here, and
(1999) Distinctive spiced-oranges and marmalade on the nose with hints of figs and plenty of honeyed notes. Very sweet and silky smooth, this is long and concentrated with fine balance. Outstanding.
(2014) Seems a little touch dank at first aromatically, a touch rancio, but the lemony and marmalade-rich fruit is there and a light smokiness. Like many of these older Sauternes it comes good on the palate: lovely round fruity concentration, tightly wound and intense, the fresh edge of acidity set against powerfully concentrated flavours of fruit and botrytis. Saffron and marmalade speak of this entering a really pronounced tertiary stage. 125g/l residual sugar.
(2002) Lovely bright gold with a tinge of emerald green. Good botrytis, loaded with honey, fig and butterscotch. Peach kernels too, lots of vanillin oak. Chewy oak flavours and intense sweetness on the palate. Mid weight, mid glycerine but pure orange and fig fruit persists into a long finish. Unobtrusive but very positive lemony acidity keeps it clean.
(2000) The glowing, burnished golden colour of this wine promised a really luscious character and so it proved. The nose has lovely botrytis notes of marmalade and figgy fruit, with a butteriness and floral nuances. On the palate it is very pure and softly constructed with moderate acidity and plenty of sweet, unctuous fruit. Maybe lacks just a little grip because of the lowish acidity, but it is tight and focused; not lacking in length or in any way flabby. Just very accessible and utterly delicious now.
(2002) Classic, ultra-classy botrytis wine. Loaded with honey, fig and marzipan. Lovely balance.
Return to our feature article on a visit to Château Suduiraut.