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Sauternais

Château Suduiraut Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes 2010

Château Suduiraut Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes 2010

A decadent elixir, Castelnau de Suduiraut is the second label of Château Suduiraut—in an excellent vintage like 2010, it offers fabulous QPR—and is exactly the sort of wine I'm inclined to haul out of my cellar during the holidays. Lavishly layered aromas of dried apricot, quince, dried orange peel, sultana, and crème brûlée rise from the glass. The impression of richness, a glycerol-rich palate, a well of honeyed fruit that is only interrupted a coursing and singular thread of of minerality on the finish. Château Suduiraut 9.1 Points...

Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée with Sauternes

This is my go-to recipe from the Culinary Institute of America. It’s fool-proof as recipes go, and there is little motivation on my part to change it. Of course, there are infinite variations on this theme. Try infusing the cream with lavender or cardamom seeds, for example. Or substitute honey for sugar. Add subtle lift with orange zest or Meyer lemon. The possible flavor combinations are endless. Even so, I find myself returning to this most classic of French desserts without altering in any way. The satisfying burnt sugar crust and rich vanilla bean custard lend themselves perfectly to sweet, opulent wines of Sauternes or Barsac. In which case, when it comes to stickies, I want their complexity to shine, and not compete with the pairing. Recently, I paired this with a youthful 2010 Château Rieussec with pleasing results. Thankfully, I have a few more bottles stowed away because Rieussec only grows lovelier with time, the 1988 and 1986 vintages were both outstanding. [amd-yrecipe-recipe:4]...

Château Rieussec Sauternes 2010

Château Rieussec Sauternes 2010

As I sit at my desk writing about an entirely different wine, this seductress is unfurling before me, and I can fully appreciate its aromatic charms from a distance of several inches. Dried apricot, yellow peaches, star anise and clove, and crème brûlée round out the nose of this opulent Sauternes. On the palate, it’s unctuous and yet finely corseted in vibrant acidity and minerality. Every bit as good as the 1986 I tasted recently. Like Sleeping Beauty, all it requires is time. Of note, Château Rieussec is a blend of 90 to 95% Sémillon, 5 to 10% Muscadelle and Sauvignon blanc and is aged for 18 to 26 months on oak, of which around 50% is new French oak. 14.0% ABV Château Lafite Rothschild 9.5 Points You’ll find my recipe and pairing for Crème Brûlée and Sauternes here....

Château d'Yquem 1998

Château d’Yquem 1998

What can be said about d'Yquem can only be expressed in poetry, even in a modest vintage like 1998. It is an inner sanctum, a fragrant garden, a poignant release that is both profound and glorious. Descriptors cannot do it justice, sensual and honey-drenched layers of apricots, vanilla bean, creme brûlée and almond pastry. Viscous and glycerol-laden in the mouth, offset by dazzling acidity, dried fruit—quince, more apricots. A silken, pure, honey-spun web of delight. I'm rambling, but d'Yquem does that. Château d'Yquem 9.5 Points ...