A very sweet evening is just ended. We started in typical fashion with some fully blind wines:
Castelnau de Suduiraut 2001
Light, even greenish colour. A very clean and pure scent of lime (unique to Suduiraut IMO), some sea shells. The palate is sweet, light, intense and delightfully acidic. Lovely stuff. I guessed Suduiraut 2003. I should have guessed from the high acidity and the lightness that it wasn't. But this is a fantastically good 2nd wine.
Ch. Broustet 2001
Very evolved colour. Strange nose, a bit dirty in its botrytis, earthy. Sweet and intense, but again there is a dirty aspect to the botrytis. I do like the earthiness though, even if it is a bit out of place in Sauternes. My guess: minor chateau from 1997.
Then we had fully open (
I would have hoped half-blind) these:
Ch. Myrat 2001
Spicy and light, but very typical Sauternes. The palate is the same: it screams Sauternes at you but is a bit lighter than the big names below. Very nice stuff: not complex, not thrilling, but true to the area and a delight to drink.
Clos Haut Peyraguey 2001
Intense and oaky nose with coco, cream and pine. The palate is intense and thick, rather inelegant but balanced if you like big.
Lafaurie Peyraguey 2001
Earthy and personal nose, musky even, but still very Sauternesy. The palate is thick and sweet but more elegant than the Clos HP. It is pleasantly acidic but still moderately short.
Ch Giraud 2001
The major disappointment of the evening (all others were varying degrees of lovely). The nose was strangely vegetal (usually something I like in wines), petrolly and way too oaky and alcoholic. The palate was rather disjointed as well. I was fairly sure this was flawed compared to a bottle I had about a year ago, but others thought it fine.
Ch Climens 2001
My favourite. The nose was surprisingly like a red Burgundy: beet root, red berries, earthy, even a bit bretty! Of course it had lemon and botrytis as well, but the Burgundy was foremost. The palate was in perfect balance: high acidity carried the sugar and ripe fruit to incredible lengths. Complex and lovely. This was such an elegant and beautiful wine!
Ch Suduiraut 2001
Rather closed, unfortunately. What was noticable was that this was true Sud in its lime scents and lighter character. The palate showed better with superb balance. There is lots of fat, but like the Climes, this showed and elegance and understated lightness when compared to the others. Lovely.
A rather oaky nose of marzipan. There was true Sauternes scents underneath, but the oak was a tad too prominent. The palate was lovely however, if you like the full-on style: massive concentration and acidity and sweetness. I loved it, but preferred the elegant style of Climens.
Ch d'Yquem 2001
The nose is very oaky and smells almost like a young red Bordeaux in its cigar box and cedar aromas. The palate is better integrated at the moment: oaky certainly, intense and concentrated, yet paradoxically light and fresh from the acidity. There is wonderful delineation to the palate, just as in the Climens. This is certainly a superb wine, but stylistically the Climens was closer to my heart in its extra freshness and poise. But these aren't so much qualitative as stylistic differences. Both wines are supreme.
What would a tasting be without some blind wines at the end!
Ch d'Yquem 2002
Fine botrytis, citrussy and limey - reminds me very much of Suduiraut's style, except this has a toastyness to the oak which I don't usually find. The palate is intense and acidic, but without quite the depth of great years. I did guess 2002 as the year, but still went for Suduiraut. On second guess I went to Climens. A lovely wine for sure.
The two bottles opened for the tasting were radically different so this one came at the end as a blind taste. Citrussy and very oaky - not harmonious. The palate is almost acidless, very sweet, rather badly balanced. Drinkable and even enjoyable but does not stand up well in the company.
Then we had the cleaning up wine:
Ch Suduiraut 2003
A tropical nose with passionfruit - but it is still fresh. The palate, though lacking in acidity, manages somehow to be perfectly balanced and isn't overly sweet and is fresh. Strangely enough, all the pieces come together and it's a lovely wine.
Then one more blind wine:
Cabreo Il Borgo 1997
The red toned, and appley nose made me go to Italy at first. Then came such a prounounced warm cassis that I thought Bordeaux. Also the very tannic palate with a bit of vegetality made me think Bordeaux, but the high acidity took me to Italy. Paradoxical wine and difficult to pin down but balanced. Very well done, but not really my style of wine.
Exhausting but pleasurable evening, indeed.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.