70% Sémillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc
Situated some 40 kilometers south east of Bordeaux, between the Garonne river and the Landes forest to the south, the Sauternes vineyard produces what many wine experts and wine lovers believe to be, quite simply, the best sweet white wine in the world.
Sichel Sauternes, crafted by one of the most prestigious classified growths of the appellation, enjoys the same meticulous and very special care that goes into producing the top botrytised wines of this renowned appellation. This wine is the very expression of refinement, whether in its hue of old gold or in its rich and complex bouquet, in which notes of citrus jammy apricot and spices combine with delicate, honeyed fragrances. The palate of this 2017 vintage is truly majestic: creamily voluptuous with a long finish softened by honey flavors with a hint of jammy lemon, which says something about the keeping potential of this remarkably well-balanced wine. No doubt about it, this is an excellent Sauternes! An elegant aperitif to share with friends and a fine dessert wine to round off the meal. Age for 8 to 12 years.
The particular character of Sauternes wines comes, to a large extent, from the variety of soils and sub soils found in the region. In general, the top soil is made up of gravelly mounds and slopes and sandy gravel in the flatter areas. The sub soil largely clay with occasional layers of alios (ironpan) of varying depths. Added to this, yields in Sauternes are very low (less than 25hl/ha) to get the maximum concentration in sugar. Last but not least, is the famous ‘noble rot’that is encouraged in healthy grapes by the microclimate in Sauternes. Otherwise known as Botrytis Cinerea, the rot develops in September and October, thanks to the morning mists that form along the valley of the Ciron river and the warm, sunny autumn afternoons that follow.
- Average Age of Vines: 50 years
Harvesting is by hand and is done several times. Each time the pickers go through the vines, they take only the over-ripe or rotted grapes to get the maximum sugar and Botrytis character. Once at the vat house, the grapes are pressed and fermented in stainless steel vats, in which the temperature is not allowed to exceed 22oC. The alcoholic fermentation is interrupted by mutilation with SO2 and by cooling when the optimal organoleptic balance is reached. The wine is aged in vats and barrels for a period of 10 to 12 months.