Sauternes Vertical Tasting at Château Suduiraut

The tasting room at Château Suduiraut

The tasting room at Château Suduiraut

Tour and Tasting at Château Suduiraut
Along with the En Primeur tastings, our Millesima hosts planned a variety of individual individual winery visits for us. We arrived bright and early one morning for a tour and vertical tasting at Château Suduiraut in Sauternes.

Sauternes map courtesy of

Map of the Sauternes and Barsac regions within Bordeaux. map courtesy of

Château Suduiraut is one of the Sauternes wineries awarded Premier Cru Classé status during the historic classification of 1855 in Bordeaux, a classification which still denotes the top wines of Bordeaux today.

Botrytis “Noble Rot” attacking Semillon grapes in Sauternes. photo courtesy of Wikimedia

What’s So Special About Sauternes?
Sauternes and Barsac are at the southern edge of the Bordeaux region, with a special geographic location giving them a capability to produce rare dessert wines. The Ceron river runs through the region, and the fall weather is usually quite dry (no rain), but the area around the river gets extensive morning fog. This special fog allows a fungus called botrytis to attack the ripe grapes. The fungus, which looks terrible, causes the grapes to shrivel and lose their moisture without giving up any of their sugar or acidity. The resulting wines are sweet, but balanced by high acidity. Producing the wines requires extreme care in the vineyards, with multiple passes through every plot to only pick the properly shriveled, infected grapes. With the majority of the grape mass shriveled away, yields in the vineyard are extremely low compared with normal dry wines. While delicious young, these wines gain complexity with age and become even more beguiling.

The Sauternes Vineyard
(click on any photo to open the slide show, escape to return)

A Deep Vertical Sauternes Tasting
A vertical tasting is a sampling of a single wine, going back through time in multiple vintages. As a taster, you have the opportunity to get a glimpse of how a wine ages, when the secondary aromas begin to emerge, and importantly, when would you drink the wine. If you can be patient enough!

You, Too, Can Tour Château Suduiraut
Thanks to our Millesima hosts, we received special treatment during the tour, with personal tour from Philippe followed by an extensive vertical tasting. However, Château Suduiraut offers tours by appointment which include both a tour and a wonderful opportunity to taste very old wines. Highly recommended, and you won’t want to spit either!

Other Points of View
Want to hear more about the magic of Sauternes? Rob Frisch from our Millesima blog awards group just posted his thoughts from our visit here.

Perhaps the most devoted Sauternes fan of our group, Chiara Bassi gives an in-depth review of the brand new Sauternes we tasted at En Primeur. Note, the post is in Italian, but Chiara has thoughtfully provided a translation button at the top of the web page. Auto translations are always entertaining, sometimes useful! Chiara’s post is here.

A special thanks to our Millesima hosts, who sponsored the #MillesimaBA2017 trip for the six blog award winners.

12 Responses to “Sauternes Vertical Tasting at Château Suduiraut”
  1. orna2013 says:

    When are you coming to Puglia? Lots to taste here!

  2. Sounds delicious. I love Sauternes, the older the better.

  3. Love Sauternes! Thanks for sharing!

Check out what others are saying...

  2. […] about Sauternes and some fantastic photos of the vertical tasting at Château Suduiraut, check out this post by fellow award-winner Jeff Burrows of […]

  3. […] The Bordeaux region is large, the village of Sauternes (namesake of the sweet wines of Bordeaux) is about an hour’s drive south from the bustling city of Bordeaux. Our Millesima hosts shipped us off to stay overnight in the village before our grand tour and tasting the next day at Chateau Suduiraut. […]

  4. […] Wine Sauternes is a unique, sweet wine made in a very small region within the larger Bordeaux wine region. […]

  5. […] vs. family. One of these estates is Chateau Suduiraut, a property I had the opportunity to visit. Chateau Suduirat is a 1st Premier Cru Sauternes from the 1855 Bordeaux classification. I was most […]

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