Bordeaux is home to some of the the world’s best, most complex and ageworthy sweet wines. Of the regions in Bordeaux, Sauternes is the most renowned for making this style of dessert wine.
The key to this style is the presence of a highly prized mold called botrytis cineria, also referred to as Noble Rot. The mold develops on the thin skinned and already ripe Semillon grapes, and to a lesser extent Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes. With the vineyards lying close to the river, humid mornings create ideal conditions for the development of this mold while the warm, dry days help shrivel the berries and concentrate flavours. Production is labour intensive and time consuming- this is reflected in the wine’s intensity, quality and premium price! Sauternes is lusciously sweet yet balanced by lively acidity. The combination of sweetness and acidity give the wine the ability to age for decades.