Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Holiday Wine: Sweet Wine From Bordeaux

Sauternes is a city in France's Bordeaux region. It is also an appellation exclusive to sweet, golden dessert wines made largely from Sémillon grapes. Sweet white wine is not everyone's cup, but anyone who likes a good dessert and a good glass of wine should not object to having them in the same serving. However, sweet Bordeaux wines are for more than dessert. Start a meal with them, an aperitif, or pair them with your main courses. Try to pair sweet wines with something salty or savory for a great balance.

Thanksgiving is a great time to start a love affair with Sauternes. Have it with the pumpkin pie, sure, but try it with the turkey, too. You’ll be surprised at the pairing.

Sweet Bordeaux US and Snooth recently held a virtual tasting of a nice selection of Sauternes wines, and I was lucky enough to be included.  Hosted by Snooth's co-founder and chief taster Mark Angelillo and wine educator Fred Swan, the event drew raves from those who participated in it. Swan, especially, won kudos all around for his vast knowledge and expertise. Eight sweet Bordeaux wines were sampled, and we'll be visiting them all this month.

Chateau Lauvignac Cuvée Sahuc Sauternes 2014

A Grand Vin de Bordeaux, the Cuvée Sahuc is made from Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle and Sémillon grapes. It sells for just $19, making it one of the best deals from the region. In the Snooth virtual tasting, @jamesthewineguy liked the wine's yellow citrus peel, almond, crushed sea shells and pine nut notes.

This dessert wine's nose is laced with overripe apricots trod upon after a rain. It's sweet, but it's earthy, and just a hint of smoke comes out of nowhere. The palate gives the same mixed message. "Is this love, baby, or is it just confusion?" The acidity is good - not too soft, not too racy. The finish reminds me of that childhood fruit tree in the neighbors' yard, with just a little bit of raisin.

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