Free shipping for orders over 59,90€
Delivery in Italy in 1-3 working days | Free shipping for orders over 59,90€ |Callmewine is Carbon Neutral!

Sauternes

Sauternes is a French sweet passito wine that has become a worldwide symbol of elegance and territorial excellence. It is produced in a restricted geographical area to the south of Bordeaux, which includes five municipalities, including the one bearing the same name. This area has unique climatic conditions that favour the controlled development of a parasitic fungus called Botrytis Cinerea, which attacks the bunches of grapes, causing their dehydration, sugar concentration and withering through the formation of noble rot. The mouldy white grapes of Sémillon, an indigenous local variety, combined with Sauvignon and Muscadelle, give life to golden, sweet, soft and oily nectars, characterised by a great freshness that makes them extraordinarily pleasant and elegant. They can be enjoyed slowly in moments of meditation or paired with French specialities such as foie gras, and mature or blue cheeses.

11 results
98 -@@-7-Robert Parker
98 -@@-9-James Suckling
98 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
370,00 
92 -@@-7-Robert Parker
94 -@@-9-James Suckling
93 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
98,90 
94 -@@-9-James Suckling
95 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
94 -@@-7-Robert Parker
48,50 
90 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
25,50 
89 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
40,80 
98 -@@-7-Robert Parker
96 -@@-9-James Suckling
97 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
229,00 
94 -@@-9-James Suckling
93 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
95 -@@-10-Wine Enthusiast
46,90 
95 -@@-7-Robert Parker
97 -@@-9-James Suckling
93 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
134,60 
97 -@@-9-James Suckling
98 -@@-7-Robert Parker
96 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
415,00 

Sauternes is a French sweet passito wine that has become a worldwide symbol of elegance and territorial excellence. It is produced in a restricted geographical area to the south of Bordeaux, which includes five municipalities, including the one bearing the same name. This area has unique climatic conditions that favour the controlled development of a parasitic fungus called Botrytis Cinerea, which attacks the bunches of grapes, causing their dehydration, sugar concentration and withering through the formation of noble rot. The mouldy white grapes of Sémillon, an indigenous local variety, combined with Sauvignon and Muscadelle, give life to golden, sweet, soft and oily nectars, characterised by a great freshness that makes them extraordinarily pleasant and elegant. They can be enjoyed slowly in moments of meditation or paired with French specialities such as foie gras, and mature or blue cheeses.

A Unique Territory: Climatic Conditions and Savoir-Faire

The elegance and extraordinary characteristics of Sauternes wine are the result of specific climatic and territorial conditions, which are unique in the world, combined with winemaking expertise based on centuries of tradition. The territory is divided into five municipalities located about 30 kilometres south of Bordeaux, on the left bank of the Garonne river and includes Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignac and Sauternes. The presence of the small river Ciron, which is a tributary of the Garonne and which flows through the area, causes a slight humidity in the morning, which is dampened by the afternoon sun and favours the formation of mould on the grapes. The temperate oceanic climate and the presence of hillsides, which protect the vineyards from excessive winds, help to ensure that mould, caused by the development of a parasitic fungus called Botrytis Cinerea, does not degenerate into grey mould but merely causes a slight and constant dehydration of the grapes and a concentration of the sugars. The Semillon grape also lends itself particularly well to the presence of the parasite, achieving great levels of expression. The vineyards are planted on clay and limestone soils, with the presence of rocky deposits and alluvial pebbles called graves, which give the fruit a mineral flavour. The grapes are harvested when slightly over-ripe, with only the best bunches selected. The practice of a gradual harvest involves several trips between the vines over the course of the weeks in order to harvest the grapes only when they have reached a perfect state of ripeness. In the cellar, the Sémillon, Sauvignon and possibly Muscadelle grapes undergo a very gentle pressing to obtain a soft and rich must. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks or in barriques, with sugar residue retained and significant quantities of sulphites added to avoid any form of oxidation. Due to the high concentration of sugars, fermentation is very difficult and takes a long time, sometimes up to a year. Before bottling, there is usually a period of refinement in barrels of about 1 or 2 years. Once released, these wines have an extraordinary longevity.


Legendary and Memorable Expressions of Sauternes

The first evidence of production in this area dates back to 1660 and is based on the story of a grape harvest in the famous Chateau d'Yquem estate. It is impossible to establish whether the grapes were already botrytized at that time, but it is likely that the white wine produced was sweet. By the 18th century, however, this type of wine was already well-established, linked to the territory and known throughout the world. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America, was particularly fond of it. The Chateaus, which is the term used to identify the wine production sites in Bordeaux, have a very long history in this territory. Some of them, such as Yquem and De Malle, date back to the beginning of the 17th century, while all the others were founded no later than the 18th century.

The Official Classification of Bordeaux, carried out in 1855 at the request of Napoleon III, classified and identified the best and most exposed vineyards according to the standards of quality of the French wines produced and the reputation of the Chateaux. This resulted in a dozen Deuxième Crus, including Chateau de Malle, another dozen Premier Crus, including the famous Château Suduiraut and Château Rieussec, and just one Premier Cru Supériur, which has become an immortal legend, Château d'Yquem.

Almost all the wineries producing this speciality have a long and important history and are respected all over the world. Among them, Chateau d'Yquem has become a legend with its products of quality, elegance and incredible longevity. To fully appreciate the importance and prices of Sauternes that these labels can fetch, it is enough to think that many years ago a bottle from 1787 was sold for 60,000 dollars and in 2011 a bottle from 1811 was sold at auction for 85,000 euros. Those who had the privilege of tasting a Yquem after around 200 years of ageing in the bottle have assured that it was still perfect, composed and very elegant.


Classic and Unconventional Pairings

This passito wine is characterised by a bright golden yellow colour and a very soft, oily texture. On the nose, typical scents of saffron, dried fruit, ripe exotic fruit, candied fruit, sweet spices, honey and much more emerge. The great balance between sweetness, freshness and minerality guarantees an uncommon elegance. Compared to all other passito wines, this French speciality is in fact distinguished by its great freshness, which is why the practice of pairing it with many local dishes has been firmly adopted, transforming it into a sweet table wine. Sauternes is best paired with foie gras, which is fatty goose liver that is spread on croutons, or with very tasty cheeses such as Roquefort. Naturally, pastries, possibly with cream, candied fruit, jams and marmalades, as well as dry pastries, biscuits and nougat, are also excellent. The elegance, freshness and minerality of this type of wine has always inspired a wide range of combinations that might be described as unconventional and extravagant, but which have proven to be very successful. In most cases, these combinations involve sweet and sour, spicy and very tasty dishes, such as stuffed game or with dried fruit, Peking duck, steamed shellfish with cheese sauce and candied fruit, and chicken livers with truffles. 

If you want to discover more about this French wine speciality or treat yourself to a precious bottle of great elegance, on Callmewine you can find a wide selection of Sauternes for sale online and on special offer at the best prices. Choose the wine that best suits your needs, whether it be for a romantic dinner, a moment of meditation or an important gift.