Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Holiday Wines: Sweet Bordeaux, Sauternes

The sweet wines of Bordeaux often are relegated to the dessert category, and why not?  They pair well with dessert plates and could even serve as dessert all on their own.  However, they are not just for dessert.  They're for snacking, too.  The holidays are a great time to do some snacking.  That gym membership will still be good in January.

Non-dessert usage of Sweet Bordeaux wines was the thrust of a recent online virtual tasting in which I was invited to take part.  #GoGoldenBordeaux even supplied some tasty and savory treats to pair with the wines, just to reinforce the "opposites attract" method of wine pairing.  Snooth hosted the event, with Master of Wine Mary Gorman-McAdams also taking part. 

Louis Bordenave is a "grape engineer" at the Institute of Vine and Wines Sciences, part of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research.  He says the Sémillon grape is best suited for the sweet, white wines of Bordeaux that are spread out over ten appellations within BDX.  Bordenave figures that Semillon is probably the only variety native to Bordeaux among both whites and reds.

Château Lapinesse Cuvee Lapinesse Sauternes 2016

Sixth-generation winegrowers David and Laurent Siozard are in charge at Château Lapinesse in Sauternes.  Their estate is actually in the sub-appellation of Barsac, although they bottle as Sauternes. 

This yellow-gold wine sweetens without overdoing it.  A honeyed fruit nose with an earthy overlay leads to a palate that shows sugar with a slightly tart side.  The acidity is nice, but not ripping.  The finish goes a bit flat.  Still, a very nice wine from a region where it’s had to go wrong.