Cards of Wine

Sauternes (France)

Glass of Sauternes

Sauternes is a sweet white wine from Sauternais in Bordeaux.

Serving Temperature

8-10°C (46-50°F)
10-12°C (50-54°F) older than 15 years

Flavors

Apricot
Apricot
Mango
Mango
Pineapple
Pineapple
Blossom
Floral
Marmelade
Marmelade
Honey
Honey
Lemon
Lemon
Coconut
Coconut
Caramel
Caramel
Dried Fruit
Dried Fruit
Nuts
Nuts
Vanilla
Vanilla

Typical flavors of Sauternes wines are: Dried Fruit. Apricot. Mango. Pineapple. Passion Fruit. Flowers. Honey. Citrus Marmelade. Nuts. Almond.

Food Pairing Sauternes

Poultry
Poultry
Foie Gras
Foie Gras
Asian
Asian
Roquefort
Roquefort
Meditation
Meditation
Fruit
Fresh
Fruit
Chocolate
Chocolate
Dessert
Cakes

Sauternes is a meditation wine.

Food Pairing Savory: Foie Gras. Poultry. Roquefort. Blue Cheese. Asian Food (Chinese. Indian.)

Food Pairing Sweet: Pavlova (Meringue). Chocolate. Custards. Tarts. Cheese Cakes.

About Sauternes

Sauternes is a sweet wine from Sauternais in the Bordeaux region of France.

It is a dessert wine (100 - 150 g/l sugar) made from the grapes Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle.

It is produced from hand picked grapes that have been infected by the Botrytis bacteria (Noble Rot) that dries out the grapes and concentrates the sugar.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux in Southwest France is the most famous wine region in the world.

France

The river Gironde splits the area in the famous Left Bank (Southwest) and the Right Bank (Northeast) where the two famous, but very different, Bordeaux Blends are produced.

The Left Bank

On the Left Bank, Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape.

A typical top-quality "Bordeaux Blend" consists of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Merlot.

Left Bank wines are often spicy with bold tannins and are good candidates for aging.

The Right Bank

On the Right Bank, Merlot is the primary grape.

A typical Right Bank blend consists of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Right Bank wines are also bold, but smoother, with softer tannins and typical Merlot fruity flavors. They can age, but are more "drink me soon" style.

Bordeaux is dominated by red wine. Nearly 90% of all Bordeaux wine is red.

The most planted grape is Merlot, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon.

Red Grapes

66% Merlot
23% Cabernet Sauvignon
10% Cabernet Franc
  2% Malbec
  1% Petit Verdot

White Grapes

47% Sémillon
45% Sauvignon Blanc
  5% Muscadelle


Bordeaux Left Bank

On the Left Bank, Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape.

A typical top-quality "Bordeaux Blend" consists of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Merlot.

Left Bank wines are often spicy with bold tannins and are good candidates for aging.

The terroir is rocky, with gravel (stones) and some limestone.

In the wine world, this bad soil means good wine because the more the roots have to struggle, the better the quality. Rocky soils and hillsides give a good drainage (too much water gives a watery berry).

Famous appellations are:

  • Haut-Médoc
  • Margaux (Château Margaux)
  • St.Estephe
  • St.Julien
  • Pauillac (Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Latour)
  • Pessac Leognan (Château Haut-Brion)
Few chateaux with many hectars (50-80ha average).

Flavors:

Young: Spices. Earth. Tobacco.

Aged: Leather. Smoke. Truffle. Herbs. Cigar box.

Bordeaux Right Bank

On the Right Bank, Merlot is the primary grape.

A typical Right Bank blend consists of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Right Bank wines are also bold, but smoother, with softer tannins and typical Merlot fruity flavors. They can age, but are more "drink me soon" style.

The terroir on the right bank is less difficult, with less gravel and more clay and limestone.

Famous appellations are:

  • St. Emilion (Cheval Blanc)
  • Pomerol (Petrus)
Many small chateaux with few hectars (30 average).

Flavors:

Young: Black Cherry. Red Plum. Flowers. Chocolate. Licorice.

Aged: Earth. Truffle. Dark Chocolate. Tobacco.

White Bordeaux

White Bordeaux uses Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion as primary grapes.

Alcohol can be addictive. Drink in moderation.

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