Sweet wines (5): Sauternes and Barsac
The names Sauternes and Barsac alone are sufficient to evoke some of the world’s finest sweet wines. There are wines that are best consumed after they have aged a few years in the bottle and we are not just talking about Château d'Yquem.
Considered to be the most refined and precious sweet wines in the world, these wines have been lucky to benefit from a unique microclimate that in almost every year allows for the formation of Noble Rot, which in French is called Purriture Noble (Botrytis Cynerea), a mold that allows for a higher concentration of sugar and unique notes in the grape. In other words, it is a kind of ‘organic’ rather than physical process of raisinating that creates totally singular and unrepeatable sensations.
Being a Bordeaux wine, Sauternes wines are generally bolder and have more structure, whereas those of Barsac are more elegant and refined. Both are wines that should be consumed after they have aged a few years in the bottle because this enhances their nuances and superlative complexity.