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The name means sweet (or soft) white. It is blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling picked very late (early May) when the fruit was shrivelled and black and there were no leaves left on the vines.
This is a very challenging style of wine to make. The crushed mush is a thick grey slurry; very sweet and very hard to process. But when it is pressed, and the juice emerges, it is like alchemy: dross is turned to gold. From this unpromising sludge emerges a bright shining golden elixir! It still has to be fermented and filtered – both of which take an inordinate amount of time – but the result is a delicate sweet wine, full of concentrated grape flavour but, in this case, balanced by enough acid so that the last impression in the mouth is not sugary sweetness, but clean acid freshness.
This is not so much a Sauternes Château d’Yquem but more a Barsac (Chateau Coutet). It is aging beautifully and is a full golden colour but has many more years yet.
An ideal match with soft cheese, crackers and fresh fruit at the end of a meal.