Tag Archives: Chateau Soutard

Sweet tooth (Bordeaux, France – Day Five)

It seems somehow fitting that the last day I will be visiting wineries is spent tasting some of the most famous dessert wines in the world. Graves is in the southern part of Bordeaux on the left bank but a long way from Medoc. It is a special area in the sense unlike other parts of Bordeaux all three of the famous wines are produced here; namely red, white and dessert wines. Red wine is the largest proportion of production, and in fact this was the origin of claret wine. In the original classification of 1855 one red wine was given first growth classification,which was Chateau Haut-Brion. Graves is also famous for the sweet wines, most importantly wines from Sauternes and Barsac which were also classified back in 1855. As you would remember I visited Chateau d’Yquem which is the most famous Sauternes house that has been given special First Growth Superieur status, but there are a number of other first growth estates. The varieties used for these wines are semillon and sauvignon blanc with a little muscadet. The fruit is harvested so late that the berries are botrytised and the sugar concentrated, and it is not uncommon for several passes to be made through the vineyard during the harvest to ensure only the best botrytised fruit is selected. The fermentation is stopped whilst there is still a high level of residual sugar in the wine, which is where the sweetness comes from. I visited two Sauternes estates in the morning and finished the day with an estate in Saint-Emilion.

The many aromas of sauternes captured by Chateau Suduiraut

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Chateau Soutard – 27/07/2012

Chateau Cadet-Piola 2006
A little sharp on the nose, quite precise and fresh, red fruits but a tad volatile and bretty. Tight and lean, very intense but somewhat simple, very soft tannins, good acids but generally quite empty and simple.

Chateau Larmande 2002
Dense and meaty, darker fruits more mature and savoury, picking up some nice bottle-character, toastier and a little mint elements, dried fruits. Quite sharp and precise, definitely a product of its vintage, high acids and a little bitterness. On the bitter side, volatile and alcoholic. Not impressive.

Chateau Soutard 2003
Visibly ageing very fast. Much meatier on the nose, burger rings, bacon rind, fairly cooked on the nose, fruit all but gone. Soft and supple on the palate, looking quite complex at the moment but very little chance that it will improve, leathery and yoghurt. Creaminess in the texture but typical old-world bad.

Chateau Soutard 2007
Deeper and darker fruits, more mellow on the nose, good concentration but still showing some of that old-world funk, almost like a brunello. Good structure through the palate, well balanced and filling the mouth very well, subdued red fruits, a little creaminess in texture from the oak and the tannins, quite supple but persistent. Good acidity through the mouth, certainly potential and a fine example but still a lot of improving to be made.

Chateau Soutard

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