In 1855, there were two classifications of Bordeaux wine.
Most people remember only that of the Médoc dedicated to reds.
Actually, the more astounding classification was of the wines of Sauternes and Barsac.
Instead of just four Premier Crus or First Growths in the Médoc, Sauternes and Barsac had 11!
Chateau Suduiraut – a near neighbour of Yquem – is one of them.
The 1855 Sauternes & Barsac Classification is also more remarkable because of Yquem.
The most expensive Bordeaux wine at the time shot out on its own.
Yquem was named the unprecedented, unique, singular Premier Cru Superieur!!
Chateau Suduiraut 1999 – at 21 years – is stunning now!
It will continue to evolve but has, I believe, reached its peak and will stay at this level into 2022/2023. Beyond that, the Sauternes will taste progressively drier and more caramel like.
Suduiraut’s 91-hectare vineyard has gravelly, sandy, clay soil.
Drainage is excellent. The stony gravels are natural incubators of heat which they release to further ripen the grapes after the sun has set.
The average age of the vines is 35 years. They are, for Bordeaux, planted to a high density of 7,000 vines per hectare (it’s around 10,000 in Burgundy).
The composition of the blend may change vintage to vintage but, in the vineyard, the planting is 90% Semillon and 10% Sauvignon Blanc.
Both varieties play their part but it is fair to say that Sauternes is distinguished for its remarkable richness because of the contribution and layered, nuanced concentration of Semillon found nowhere else.
Suduiraut 1999 – the colour and shade – is light, bright Pu-erh (tea) with a bronze/copper tinge. Ripe and fruity. Raisins, figs, honey, caramel and an utterly irresistible pinch of Clementine Marmalade.
All photos from Chateau Suduiraut website