One of the best sweet whites in 2005, this wine is well built and will perhaps age for considerably longer than many (40+ years). Expect this to give long term pleasure rather than immediate gratification, offering as it does concentrated peach and pear aromas with a lengthy progression of rich marmalade, sultanas, ginger and developed crème brûlée flavours on the palate. Very good.
Chateau Clos Haut Peyraguey is the smallest estate of the Sauternes First Growths in the 1855 ranking. It has 12 hectares, 8 of which compose a single lot on the northeastern slope and 4 adjoin Château Yquem’s parcels. It lies at the centre of the Great First Growths near the village of Bommes with neighbours such as Rayne-Vigneau, Sigalas-Rabaud, Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Château d’Yquem, then Guiraud and LaTour Blanche. During harvest, winemaker Martine Langlais-Pauly will been seen with grape pickers in the rows of vines clarify the instructions and ensure that each grape is picked at the ideal ripeness to produce the best vintage .
Three grape varieties are planted: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. Sémillon is the principal grape, because it is especially susceptible to noble rot, Sauvignon is used for its naturally high acidity, whilst tiny proportions of the capricious Muscadelle are used for aromatic qualities. Sweet wine has been made here at least since the late 18th century. Its position is unique, close to two rivers, the broad Garonne and its small tributary, the Ciron. In autumn, the cool Ciron waters flow into the warmer tidal Garonne, evening mists develop that envelop the vineyards until late morning the following day, after the sun has burnt the mist away all that is left is moisture on trhe grapes that encourages noble rot or Botrytis cinerea. This fungus attacks grapes, causing them to shrivel, concentrating flavour sugars and acids. The wines were classified in 1855, the most prominent of which is Château Yquem, whose yields even in a vintage where noble rot is prominent, reach no more than 10 hl/ha.