Château Lamothe-Guignard: Tasting & Drinking

As I have mentioned already, the Guignards have brought about a dramatic improvement in quality at Château Lamothe-Guignard. The style they favour tends to be rich and velvety. This is certainly a wine that trades on impact and depth of flavour, rather than nervosity or a great degree of finesse. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

My main early experiences of the Guignard wines was with the 1988, 1989 and 1990 vintages, not really that long after Philippe and Jacques Guignard took control, when they were barely twenty years old. These benevolent vintages offered fine quality and which would crop up at a good price from time to time, even after many years when the wines were mature or at least approaching maturity. Buying younger vintages is an even better deal; I recall buying some of the 2001, for a dinner I was helping to organise, at an amazingly low price. Although clearly very youthful, the wine went down a treat.

As I have alluded in my profile above, however, Château Lamothe-Guignard is not about to challenge the upper echelons of the Sauternes hierarchy. Nevertheless this is an estate worth knowing and following, as the results can be very good, especially in favourable vintages such as 2001 or, more recently, 2009, 2010 and 2011. I would have perhaps hoped for a stronger performance in 2011, but the estate was blighted by the hailstorm that drifted across the vines in April, stripping leaves from the vines, and this perhaps had some impact on quality (it is still a very good wine though).

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