Château Coutet Sauternes Barsac 2019
The building of the Château Coutet has traces of an almost thousand-year-old history. In the 13th century, a military tower was erected by the English and still remains today. From 1643 onwards, Charles Le Guérin, known as Lord de Coutet, began producing wines, particularly Sauternes. An anecdote which makes the pride of Château Coutet is the visit in 1787 of Thomas Jefferson, at the time ambassador of the United States in France. The latter, who was also a wine broker, described in his travel diaries in Bordeaux: "Château Coutet is the best Sauternes in Barsac". After the French Revolution, it was the Marquis Romain-Bertrand de Lur-Saluces, also owner of Château Yquem and Château de Fargues, who took care of Coutet's vines until 1926. In the meantime, the 1855 classification placed it among the Premiers Crus classés in Sauternes. In 1926, Henry-Louis Guy became the new owner. An industrialist from Lyon, he invested in new hydraulic presses at the cutting edge of modernity at the time, making the Château one of the forerunners of its time. On his death, his wife managed production until 1977, hence the cuvée Madame, named in his honour. Since then, it is the Baly family, with its patriarch Marcel and his two sons, Philippe and Dominique, who are at the head of the estate. Since 2008, Aline, his granddaughter, has also joined his family and works for the prestige of Château Coutet. In 1994, they completely renovated the buildings and renewed the vines. A technical and commercial partnership with the company Baron Philippe de Rothschild was also established at this time. Their efforts have been crowned with success, since 2014, the wines have been among the top 100 wines in Wine Spectator magazine's Top 100.
With its 38.5 hectares of vines, ideally situated in a triangle between the Garonne river, the Ciron river and the Landes forest, Château Coutet produces wines with a golden colour. The terroir so typical and favourable to Sauternes allows the Botrytis Cinerea fungus to develop in the morning mists created by the difference in temperature between the river and the river. The stagnation of these early morning mists and the heat of the rest of the day introduces botrytis into the heart of the grapes and concentrates the sugars. In addition, Barsac's clay-limestone terroir retains water in the soil and refreshes the vines, slowing down the ripening of the bunches and postponing the date of the harvest. The harvest is the result of a whole ritual: only the ripe grapes are picked, passage after passage, spreading out the harvest over more than a month. The wine is then aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months.
The grape varieties are essentially Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, with a few Muscadelle plants.
Bearing its name well, Château Coutet ("knife" in Gascony) is lively, almost nervous, with a vitality and a light freshness. It has a light golden colour. It has a nose with notes of pineapple and fruit cake. On the palate, its aromas of vanilla, white flowers, citrus fruit and, with age, spices and candied lemon, offer all the qualities of a great wine. It is also made for long cellaring.
As an aperitif, served chilled, or accompanied by a goose liver or a piece of Roquefort, Château Coutet will delight your taste buds.