Luxurious Sweet Bordeaux Wines
As a Sommelier, I have come to appreciate all styles of wine. Each wine, each style, each flavor has its place in the whole machine of wine life. Recently, I have had the chance to taste and sample some luscious sweet wines from the Bordeaux region of France. Sweet wines may not be the first thing you think of when you are talking about the Bordeaux region but it is a place that has figured out what grows well there and now puts it in high gear! It’s the southern end of Bordeaux where all the sweet wines, the nectar of the Gods is happening! Appellations like Sauternes, Loupiac, Barsac, Cadillac, and Sainte-Croix Du Mont are growing grape varieties like Semillon, Muscadelle, and some wonderful Sauvignon Blanc is used here for sweet wine production. It is the climate and the soil here that accommodates the perfect conditions for these varieties to flourish. The nearby Garonne River offers cool, foggy mornings that lead into sunny, warm afternoons which allows the noble rot to thrive and bring that concentrated apricot and honey sweetness you appreciate on the finished wine. Only 2% of what Bordeaux produces are sweet wines and as demand for these pleasing styles grows, so will the production to meet the demand.
These sweet Bordeaux wines are fun and festive and are invited to any occasion! They can take the place of a rich dessert or sip them along with a sumptuous custard, fruit crepes, or a lemon meringue pie. They pair beautifully with most cheesecakes but steer clear of anything chocolate. As much as we all love chocolate, you will discover that this is not a great fit. But you will find that these sweet gems can be paired with spicy or savory foods as well! Keep in mind that sweet subdues the heat in food so go ahead and pair with hot and spicy foods like Asian fare, curry dishes, or an herb roasted chicken. If you are going with something savory like cheese, sweet Bordeaux wines can be enjoyed with strong blue veined cheeses, Roquefort, mac and cheese, pizza, grilled cheese, and more!
I have experienced some wonderful sweet Bordeaux wines recently and these are all ones I would purchase again because of their quality and luxurious styles. Most sweet Bordeaux wines come in 375 ml bottles and the average prices range from $12 to about $50. And because of the high percentage of residual sugar, these wines can age from 5-50 years if cellared in the right conditions. Sweet Bordeaux’s are usually rich across the palate with sophisticated flavors of honeyed apricot, citrus, caramel, and butterscotch flavors. I would recommend any of these 8:
Chateau Manos Cadillac 2016 – In my glass, golden sunset with aromas and flavors of ripe apricot, mango, lemon meringue, and hints of honey. Medium bodied with lively acidity across the palate. Predominantly Semillon with 1% Sauvignon Blanc, and 1% Muscadelle. 90 Points (Wine Splash) and average of $12 a bottle.
Chateau du Cros Loupiac 2014 – Golden in color with an exceptional bouquet of tangerine and apricot jam. Full bodied and concentrated with a velvety consistency. Exotic flavors of topical fruits, mango, apricot, and candied fruits. Semillon, Muscadelle, and Sauvignon Blanc blend. 91 Points (Wine Splash) and average of $22 a bottle.
Chateau La Rame Sainte Croix du Mont 2015 – In my glass, golden in color with a beautiful orange hue. Floral, ripe peach, and vanilla on the nose with elegant flavors of apricot jam, candied peach, citrus, honey, and lovely vanilla on the finish. Vive la différence on the slight minerality on the finish! 100% Semillon. 93 Points (Wine Splash) and average of $22 a bottle.
Chateau Filhot Sauternes 2015 – Deep golden in color and dense. Aroma’s of apricot, honey, and mango. Full bodied across the palate with a seductive richness. Fresh flavors of pineapple, citrus, mango, apricot, and honey. Blend of 60% Semillon, 36% Sauvignon Blanc, and 4% Muscadelle. Beautiful with a long finish. 92 Points (Wine Splash) and average of $26 a bottle.
Chateau Lapinesse Bordeaux Sauternes 2016 – Beautiful amber color in my glass. Alluring aromas of sweet peach, lemon, pear, and honeydew. Full bodied and velvety on the palate. Lush flavors of apricot jam, sweet melon, quince, and delectable honey. Predominantly Semillon with some Sauvignon Blanc. 90 Points (Wine Splash) and average of $28 a bottle.
Chateau Loupiac-Gaudiet 2016 – In my glass, golden yellow in color. A wonderfully balanced blend of 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. A bouquet of honey, peach, and acacia on the nose. Layered flavors of fresh apricot, bright citrus, and honey leads to a long, silky finish. 90 Points (Wine Splash) and around $12 a bottle.
Chateau Dauphine Rondillon Loupiac 2011 – Bright amber in color in my glass. A blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Apricot jam, peach, and Mandarin Orange on the nose. Concentrated richness on the palate, smooth and velvety. Vibrant flavors of ripe apricots, mango, stewed peaches, and honey are beautifully interwoven and balanced. Wonderful and expressive! 92 Points (Wine Splash) and average of $21 a bottle.
Castelnau de Suduiraut 2006 – Golden bronze color in my glass. A lavish blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. On the nose are aromas of candied fruits, honey, almond, wood, and spice. Full bodied across the palate with elegant, velvety lushness. Seductive flavors of citrus, candied fruits, almonds, vanilla oak, and bakers spices. Sweet Serenity! 91 Points (Wine Splash) and around $78 a bottle.
Whether you are a wine novice or aficionado, these are wines that rich, elegant, and stimulates the senses! You do not need food to enjoy these Sweet Bordeaux wines…..you can also revel in the velvet sweetness in front of the fireplace with your favorite person or pet and be quite contented. You choose the time and place because you are the master of your own wine experiences! Check out http://www.sweetbordeaux.com for even more information. Cheers!