Château Lamothe: Tasting & Drinking

When it comes to familiarity with the wines, I think it is fair to say that I have had much more experience with the Sauternes of Château Lamothe-Guignard than with those of Château Lamothe. There is no sinister reason for this; rather it reflects the easy availability of large quantities of Château Lamothe-Guignard, including mature vintages for sale at a good price. In more recent years I have tried to redress that balance, and at Château Lamothe have found wines that are largely comparable in terms of quality, in recent vintages at least, with those of Château Lamothe-Guignard. The two adjoining estates, the conjoined twins of Sauternes, are pictured below.


That has not always been the case though, as numerous writers have criticised the wines of the 1970s and 1980s, David Peppercorn stating in Bordeaux (Faber and Faber, second edition, 1991) that he “was never much impressed by the wines” until the 1986 vintage, and Stephen Brook wrote that the wines had been “undistinguished for some time” in Sauternes (Faber and Faber, 1995). He puts the turning point at 1990, clearly indicating that the Despujols era is one that has benefited the estate.

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