Posts with the label "barsac"

Bordeaux 2017: The Sweeties

Bordeaux 2017: The Sweeties

Saturday 28th April 2018
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

In 2017 the going was hard in Sauternes and Barsac, frost being particularly vindictive in the latter.  

At its most extreme the vintage yielded no Grand Vin at all, Climens, who made just 35 barrels, being the most prominent example in Barsac. The picture in Sauternes was complicated, too, if not always quite as dramatic.  Where frost struck, it struck hard but otherwise there was hope.  Though not untouched by frost Coutet reported that in their best parcels they managed to achieve a pretty healthy 17hl/ha. 

In Tour Blanche, by contrast, they made just fifty barrels.  End of August and early September rains brought on botrytis and the first “tries” were carried out until grey rot started to appear and the harvest stopped.  Warmer, drier weather arrested any further ignoble rot development and concentrated what was left on the vine.  The harvest restarted and largely finished in the second week of October, by which time the berries showed significant concentration.   

Owing to such conditions it is not a straightforward vintage and far from uniform. The challenge was, as ever, to find the right balance in the wines and not simply concentration.  Having enough of the fresher lighter fruit to pick in the early part of the harvest and using the right amount of the later, more concentrated October berries (if you were lucky enough to have any)  was crucial. It cannot be considered a great vintage but there are a clutch of very good wines that show a lovely weighting of richness alcohol and freshness.