Sauternes Wine


Sauternes is an appellation created in 1936,although there has been viticulture here for centuries,for sweet white wines from five communes around the village of that name in the Graves part of the Bordeaux region, south of the Garonne river near the town of Langon. The main variety used is Semillon, with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle acting as minority blending partners. Proximity to two rivers, the Garonne and the Ciron, gives the region its misty, humid climate, encouraging the growth of botrytis, the “noble rot.” The wines are barrique-aged, and can improve for many decades in bottle.

Sauternes is extremely risky and expensive to make, because harvest must take place quite late, when there is the danger of rain or frost. In some years, either because of the weather or the failure of botrytis to arrive at all, no Sauternes is made. Even in the best conditions, yields are low. Ch. D’Yquem, the region’s most famous estate, preserves its superlative reputation by Read more »

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Popular wines made in Sauternes under $20

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Varietals Produced in Sauternes View all

  • Muscadelle

    It is unclear how Muscadelle made its way to Australia. The country has been famous for its excellent sweet wines sin...

  • Viognier

    This special and exciting variety has taken California by storm and young plantings already demonstrate that this out...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Sauvignon

  • Sémillon

    History of the grape: Little is documented about the early years of this grape, which is surprising due to its distin...

  • Isabella

    Reportedly named after a famous southern belle, Isabella was allegedly discovered in North Carolina. This grape is be...

Popular Wineries in Sauternes View all

  • Château Cru D'arche Pugneau

    Cru d'Arche Pugneau is an unclassified Sauternes estate, but its vineyards lie in close proximity...

  • Château Guiraud

    " La Maison Noble du Bayle ", first name of Château Guiraud was owned by de Mons de Saint Poly fa...

  • Château Bastor-Lamontagne

    The Bastor-Lamontagne Estate belonged in 1711 to the King of France, the succession in Guyenne to...

  • Château de Rayne-Vigneau

    The vineyards of Rayne Vigneau lie on a splendidly sited ridge, and have overlooked the Sautern...

  • Chateau d'Yquem

    Nestled in the southeasy of Bordeaux, Château d’Yquem is the world’s most sought after dessert wi...

  • Château Lamothe de Haux

    Château Lamothe has belonged to the family since 1956. Château Sauvage was added in 1978 and Chât...

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Sauternes on Snooth

  • Château Guiraud Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1988


    More tight and backward than I remembered it, the 1988 exhibits a stylish, spicy nose of ripe fruit, some botrytis, medium to full-bodied flavors with well-integrated oak, an attractive, smoky, honeyed fruit character, and a lively finish. It is more shy and reticent than usual. It should last for 20-30 years. Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Château Guiraud Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1989


    The 1989 is extremely disjointed. Although big and rich, it tastes like a glob of sugar, alcohol, and wood. This was a disappointing showing for the 1989. It should gain focus and return to the form predicted for it when it was in barrel. Last tasted 11/94 Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Château Suduiraut Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1983


    This looks to be a good Suduiraut. A medium golden color, with a very honeyed, rich, floral bouquet, this full-bodied wine is not as profound as the other 1983s. Sweet, with fine honeyed flavors, this is an elegant, graceful Suduiraut with plenty of character. However, given the vintage, I had expected even more. Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Rieussec Ex-Chateau 1988


    The 1988 remains a very backward wine. Full-bodied and powerful, extremely rich and dense, it may be the least evolved 1988. The nose offers enticing coconut, orange, vanilla, and honeyed scents. The flavors are highly extracted. The wine's acidity and youthfulness suggest this wine needs another 5-10 years of cellaring. It should keep for 30 ye... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Château Rieussec Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1989


    After a period of prolonged disjointedness, this wine has pulled itself ... heavyweight Sauternes that should become more civilized with age Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Château Raymond-Lafon Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1990


    The 1990 may be the most complete and botrytised among this trio of exceptional wines from Raymond-Lafon. The wine possesses a light to medium gold color. It also possesses an opulent, full-bodied, exotic, lavishly rich personality, moderate sweetness, and huge quantity of extract, glycerin, and alcohol in its finish. The wine is also extremely ... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Château Suduiraut Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1988


    The 1988 reveals a textbook, light gold color with a slight greenish hue. Although it does not display the weight of the 1990 or 1989, it has better acidity, high alcohol, and considerable sweetness. It is somewhat disjointed, needing time to knit together. It is impressive if its components are evaluated separately, but it is less noteworthy wh... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Chateau Lafauris-Peyraguey Sauternes 1988


    The massively rich, yet fresh, lively 1988 offers a compelling, flowery, ... ... ... powerful yet elegant Sauternes that will age beautifully for 25-30 year Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Château Rieussec Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1986


    This is a stunningly complex and elegant wine, but it is less muscular as well ... ... it is still a compelling Sauternes that should age magnificentl Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • D'Yquem Sauternes Aoc Premiere Cru Supérieur Classé En 1967


    Based solely on the strength of what is unquestionably a great Yquem, many have ... ... was a superb vintage for Sauternes. The truth is that 1967 was a very good but irregular vintage. As for Yquem, it is close to perfection. Medium amber/golden with a full intensity bouquet of vanillin spice, honey, ripe pineapples, and coconut, this intense,... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

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