Sauternes (wine)

Sauternes is a French wine region, is known for its fine sweet white wines and is part of the growing region of Bordeaux.

The place Sauternes

1669 hectares of vineyards in the eponymous municipality of Sauternes and Barsac in 605 acres are available. By Sauternes the small river Ciron whose cold spring water flows into the warmer waters of the Garonne and in the autumn mist forms, provides the best opportunities for the noble rot fungus Botrytis cinerea to increase the sugar content of the grapes flows. In contrast to the Vin Doux Naturel like Banyuls or Rivesaltes AOC Sauternes is in the production of non-fortified sweet wine with alcohol the rule. The best and most famous winery is Château d'Yquem.

The appellation is reserved five municipalities ( Sauternes, Barsac, Preignac, Bommes and Fargues ). The regulations set a minimum alcohol content of 13 percent fixed. In addition, a taste test to confirm the required sweetness is given every year.

Sauternes wines are made from grapes Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Main locations with around 70 to 80 percent is the Sémillontraube because it is particularly vulnerable to the noble rot. The Sauvignon Blanc with 20 to 30 percent gives the wines the necessary acid, so that the full, broad taste of the Sémillon will be supplemented. Muscadelle is employed sporadically because of the flavor.

The effort and the risk for this Sauternes wine is high, the income is extremely low. The yield is limited to 25 hl / ha, Yquem comes to an average yield of 9 hl / ha. The harvest proves to be very expensive and also needs to be carried out in several passages from late September to mid-November. In some years ( as happened for example in 1978 and 1985) provides a no noble rot.

In 1985, a cellar technology process cryoextraction introduced. The grapes are frozen 20 hours prior to pressing in a chamber and compressed in the frozen state. This produces large amounts of water and unripe flavors are retained, the must is thus concentrated. In its natural form ice wines are concentrated by early frosts and immediately pressing. The cryoextraction is an expensive procedure and is only worthwhile to the rescue very humid vintages.

The "Jefferson wine "

When the production of sweet wines began is unclear. For a time, was unchallenged claims that Thomas Jefferson had already bought at the end of the 18th century the wines of Château d' Yquem. In 1787 he had ordered 250 bottles of the excellent 1784 vintage. Wine collector Hardy Rodenstock in 1985, the story spread, it was never exactly a named number of bottles of this vintage in Paris has been offered, which are attributable because of the engraved " Th.J. " Jefferson's possession, who had been ambassador in Paris from 1785 to 1789. The tasting one of these bottles and a bottle from 1747 have shown that there already is a sweet wine.

Already in the same year, among other things, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation had indeed expressed doubts about this story, however, fell on deaf ears, but the story was too good for wine lovers and producers. 1991 showed a laboratory on behalf of the wine collector Hans -Peter Frericks that the wine in one of those " Jefferson " bottles after the first nuclear test of time - had to come - so after 16 July 1945. However, the then initiated by Frericks lawsuit against Rodenstock ended in a settlement, it was agreed on the details of confidentiality.

Another wine collector William Koch, the owner of the Osbow Group also gave advice in order to have his resurrected in 1988 for half a million dollars four bottles. The most serious result concerns the engravings which, according to the reviewers of a modern electric drill, as he finds in dental offices use come. Koch moved on 31 August 2006 before the court, to the parties argue readily and often in relevant wine and gourmet magazines in which Rodenstock mainly holds, however, Koch had not bought this wine at him.

Classification of 1855

1855 was, among others, the classification of fine sweet white wines of Sauternes and Barsac from the communities.

Premier Cru Supérieur

This class alone is the Château d'Yquem ( Sauternes ) reserved.

Premier Cru Classé

  • Château La Tour Blanche ( Bommes, Sauternes )
  • Château Lafaurie - Peyraguey ( Bommes, Sauternes )
  • Clos Haut- Peyraguey ( Bommes, Sauternes )
  • Château Rayne Vigneau ( Bommes, Sauternes )
  • Château Suduiraut ( Preignac, Sauternes )
  • Château Coutet ( Barsac )
  • Château Climens ( Barsac )
  • Château Guiraud ( Sauternes )
  • Château Rieussec ( Fargues, Sauternes )
  • Château Rabaud -listers ( Bommes, Sauternes )
  • Château Sigalas Rabaud - ( Bommes, Sauternes )

Deuxième Cru Classé

  • Château de Myrat ( Barsac )
  • Château Doisy Daëne ( Barsac )
  • Château Doisy - Dubroca ( Barsac )
  • Château Doisy - Védrines ( Barsac )
  • Château d' Arche ( Sauternes )
  • Château Filhot ( Sauternes )
  • Château Broustet ( Barsac )
  • Château Nairac ( Barsac )
  • Château Caillou ( Barsac )
  • Château Suau ( Barsac )
  • Château de Malle ( Preignac, Sauternes )
  • Château Romer du Hayot ( Fargues, Sauternes )
  • Château Romer ( Fargues, Sauternes )
  • Château Lamothe ( Sauternes )
  • Château Lamothe Guignard - ( Sauternes )

In addition to these wineries Château Raymond - Lafon is also to be mentioned. This property works on the level of a Premier Cru Classé, but was founded shortly before the classification of 1855.

See the article in Bordeaux classification.


After place the steamship SS Sauternes was named, which sank in 1942.