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Guide Sauternes : All about the AOC Sauternes

The essential originality of Sauternes and Barsac wines lies in the way they are harvested. The winegrowers wait for the grapes to over-ripen and for a rot qualified as "Noble". It is caused by a microscopic fungus characteristic of this vineyard, the Botrytis. Its action on the vine is not uniform, hence the need to harvest grain by grain. This produces wines that are unique in the world and, because of their high sugar and acidity content, their ability to age is exceptional. The AOC SAUTERNES is delimited by five communes: Sauternes, Barsac, Preignac, Bommes and Fargues. This AOC produces exclusively sweet white wines from 3 grape varieties suitable for making this type of wine: Semillon (75% of the AOC), Sauvignon (20%) and Muscadelle.


  • The Classification of Sauternes wines

In the 1855 classification, Sauternes was the only region outside the Médoc to be classified, 27 châteaux received the title :

- The greatest of all, the Château d'Yquem is the only one to be ranked Premier Grand Cru Supérieur.

- Eleven châteaux have been classified Premier Grand Cru : Guiraud, Rieussec, Tour blanche, Sigalas-Rabaud, Rabaud-Promis, Climens, Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Suduiraut, Clos Haut Peyraguey, Coutet, Rayne Vigneau.

- Fifteen châteaux have been classified as Second Cru.


  • The Style of Sauternes Wines

The Grands Crus of Sauternes are characterized by notes of pineapple, peaches, flowers, pears, apricots, nectarines, oranges, vanilla, butterscotch, coconut and especially honey. Sauternes wines are to be enjoyed with Roquefort, nuts, spicy food and of course the duo with foie gras. Sauternes are considered dessert wines because of their high sugar levels.


  • Location of Sauternes

Sauternes is a small village in the south west of France. The village of Sauternes is located in the department of Gironde in the Aquitaine region. The village of Sauternes belongs to the district of Langon and the canton of Langon.


  • The taste of Sauternes AOC wines

There are many styles of sweet white Bordeaux wine that come from Sauternes. There are the sweet, honey-soaked wines of Barsac, which have many of the flavours of Yquem, but not the concentration. Bordeaux wines from Sauternes are richer. Pineapple, peaches, flowers, pears, apricots, nectarines, orange, vanilla, custard, butterscotch, coconut and especially honey are generally found in Sauternes.


  • Ageing of Sauternes wines

As Sauternes wines age, they may have more caramel, brioche, butterscotch and even chocolate flavours, while developing more of a candied orange character. These are unique wines that are best served slightly chilled.


  • Food and Sauternes wine pairings

At a tasting, Sauternes go well with salted cheese, spicy dishes and, of course, the best match of all, foie gras. Although Sauternes are considered to be dessert wines, due to their high sugar content, one must be careful with desserts with a lot of sugar. Sauternes and other sweet wines should be sweeter than what you eat.


  • The best AOC Sauternes estates

Here are the best Château of Sauternes. These are classified according to the scores of the greatest tasters and tasting reports.

Château from Yquem, Château Suduiraut, Château from Rayne-Vigneau, Château Rieussec, Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey.


All our Sauternes châteaux :

ClimensGuiraudLafaurie-PeyragueyRaymond LafonRayne-VigneauRieussecSigalas-RabaudSuduirautTour Blanche

Château d'Yquem.


What are the best vintages of Sauternes?

Because of their unique ageing capacity, old Sauternes wines provide extraordinary sensations. Here is an overview of the greatest Sauternes AOC vintages of all time.

The best vintages for Sauternes wines are: 2016, 2015, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1997, 1996, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1986, 1983, 1976, 1975, 1967, 1962, 1959, 1949, 1945, 1937 and 1929

Some mythical bottles of Sauternes: Château d'Yquem 1967, Château Gilette "Crème de Tête" 1967, Château d'Yquem 1990, Château Rayne Vigneau 1959, Château Rieussec 1947, Château Lafaurie Peyraguey 1920, Château Suduiraut 1945.


Now you have all the essential information about the Sauternes appellation and its prestigious wines. Now it's time to give way to the tasting! Browse through our beautiful collection of great vintages and rare wines of the Sauternes appellation on the website.


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41 produits
Château Climens 2015
Sweet2015 Bordeaux Sauternes
97/100 Wine SpectatorWS
95+/100 Robert ParkerRP

4 in stock

Château Climens 2011
Sweet2011 Bordeaux Sauternes
97/100 Wine SpectatorWS
94/100 Robert ParkerRP

9 in stock

Château d'Yquem 1997
Sweet1997 Bordeaux Sauternes
96/100 Wine SpectatorWS
96/100 Robert ParkerRP

1 in stock

Château yquem
Sweet2019 Bordeaux Sauternes
97/100 Wine SpectatorWS

11 in stock

Château yquem
Sweet2014 Bordeaux Sauternes
98/100 Wine SpectatorWS
98/100 Robert ParkerRP
magnum wine
Regular price 785

5 in stock

Château yquem
Sweet2016 Bordeaux Sauternes
98+/100 Robert ParkerRP

5 in stock