Bordeaux 2018 at Two Years: Sauternes & Barsac
I bring my publication of tasting notes on the recently bottled 2018 Bordeaux vintage to a close with a look at a dozen wines from the Sauternes and Barsac appellations. These are delicious wines which drip with sweet fruit, the rich flavours obtained partly through passerillage, hardly surprising in a season marked by drought through harvest time, and partly through botrytis, noble rot having finally arrived late in October following some showers of rain. Sadly some estate managers found they had very little to pick; hail in July destroyed the entire crop at Château Guiraud, and it left some others counting their harvest by the bunch and the bottle rather than by the vat or the barrel.
The quality here is heterogeneous; at the primeurs I noted the step up from the petits châteaux to the classified châteaux was a large one; the latter were convincing and filled with noble rot, while the former were in some cases remarkably light. In this tasting of just a dozen wines my focus has naturally fallen on the famous classified châteaux, but there are one or two less prestigious properties included here and their performance would seem to reaffirm my conclusions from the primeurs. This is a vintage to focus exclusively on the very top châteaux, and with tiny quantities picked on some vineyards it is a vintage true Sauternes enthusiasts should buy sooner rather than later.