Wine for Pure Bliss
Sauternes and I have a special relationship. It’s my drug, my legal opiate that pushes me into a state of pure euphoria. I call it the nectar of the gods. Here is a fantastic Sauternes that’s actually reasonably priced:
2005 Chateau La Tour Blanche
Sauternes is considered the ultimate sweet dessert wine in the world. It is made in Bordeaux in an area called Graves. It’s a blend of three white grapes – Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. The grapes stay on the vine long enough to develop botrytis, the noble rot. It sounds gross but it’s the opposite of gross. In moist climates a fungus infects the grapes. When the weather turns dry, the fungus sucks out the water from the grapes, concentrating all of their flavor and sugar which makes for intense, flavorful wine. Sauternes has the right climate for this noble rot to develop. To harvest the grapes, pickers pluck out the raisinated berries by hand! Sometimes it takes four or five trips through the vineyards. That’s why Sauternes usually commands a high price.
Chateau La Tour-Blanche is a Premier Cru vineyard in Sauternes, officially classified as one of the best. It’s owned by the French government and houses a viticulture and winemaking school. This wine has the right pedigree to knock your socks off. It was aged in new French Oak for at least 16 months which imparts a creamy vanilla note to the wine.
Trust me, this wine is magical. It is the physical embodiment of bliss, like liquid gold. Heavy, rich, ripe tropical fruits like pineapple, it’s viscous and silky on the palate. A seductive sweetness that’s balanced with crisp acidity. Chill it before serving but make sure it’s not super cold because you’ll lose some of the heady aromas. Then just savor it sip by sip and know that life is really good…
Video originally posted on 10/07/2010.