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2011 Chateau Suduiraut

2011 Chateau Suduiraut

96 WS


Sokolin Notes:
A Phenomenal Sauternes That We Love!

Featured Review
A big, broad, powerful style, with piecrust, roasted almond and hazelnut cream notes framing the core of apricot, creamed peach and dried mango. Picks up extra fig and pear details through the toasty finish. Needs a bit of time to finish sorting itself out. Best from 2017 through 2030. 5,415 cases made. Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator | 96 WS

Critic Reviews

A big, broad, powerful style, with piecrust, roasted almond and hazelnut cream notes framing the core of apricot, creamed peach and dried mango. Picks up extra fig and pear details through the toasty finish. Needs a bit of time to finish sorting itself out. Best from 2017 through 2030. 5,415 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 96 WS
The dried-mango and pineapple character is so delicious in this wine. It’s full-bodied and medium-sweet, with a pretty density and a fruity finish. Wonderful balance to this super Sauternes. This is a little in reserve now, with so much for the future. Try in 2017.

James Suckling | 96 JS
Tasted blind at the Sauternes 2011 horizontal tasting. The Château Suduiraut 2011 has a muffled nose at first: dried honey and quince, wet wool and marzipan scents that gradually open up with aeration. Coming back after 10 minutes there is a heartwarming gingerbread note. The palate is viscous on the entry and full of tension. There is a keen line of acidity here, quite linear at first, but it fans out nicely toward the finish and offers notes of honey, mandarin and even a touch of rhubarb! This is a class act, a Sauternes that does not need to shout about its inherent qualities.

Robert Parker Neal Martin | 93 RP-NM
Heady apricot and mango nose. Concentrated and creamy, with density and weight of fruit. The oak is integrated and the wine is harmonious in a rich rather than racy style. Long. Drinking Window 2016 - 2050.

Decanter | 93 DEC
(Château Suduiraut (Sauternes)) The 2011 Suduiraut is one of the most delicately styled and dancing wines of the vintage in Sauternes. The deep, pure and very clean nose soars from the glass in a classically glazed mélange of bee pollen, pear, fresh pineapple, honeycomb, chalky soil tones, apple blossoms and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, very pure and crisp, with very good mid-palate depth, fine focus and balance and a very long, light on its feet and complex finish. I really like the elegant style and shape of the 2011 Suduiraut. (Drink between 2016-2040)

John Gilman | 93+ JG
Very fresh and strongly fruity, with just the right amount of dry botrytis, this is already approachable. However that botrytis does promise aging, with peach and ripe orange flavors pushing forward. Drink this attractive wine from 2019.

Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE
The 2011 Suduiraut, picked from 12 September to 5 October in three tries through the vineyard, has an intriguing bouquet. It does not possess the thrilling intensity of the 2014 and 2015 tasted alongside, replicating the wet wool, almost Loire-like bouquet that I picked up upon in previous encounters. The palate is well balanced with a slightly viscous texture. This is a gentle Suduiraut, missing the complexity of a top vintage but fresh and generous. It is linear in style, some might say conservative with just a touch of gingerbread on the finish. Fine. 148gm/L residual sugar, 13.5% alcohol. Tasted at the Suduiraut vertical at the château.

Vinous Media | 92 VM

Wine Details for 2011 Chateau Suduiraut

Type of Wine Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend : Twenty-five miles southeast of the city of Bordeaux, in the southern end of the Graves winegrowing district, a magical event takes place – harvest season in Sauternes. Each year, beginning in September, the white grape varietals Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle become the star performers in an otherworldly transformation that takes winemaking to a completely magnificent level. Of course, this event could not take place would it not be for nature to play its part.

A unique set of climatic and geological conditions combine to form a rare equilibrium. A ghostly fog descends upon the region each morning, created by the differing water temperatures of the cool Ciron tributary as it flows into the warm Garonne River near Barsac and Preignac. The humid mornings give way to warm afternoon sun, encouraging the proliferation of Botrytis Cinerea.

Approximately 2,000 hectares of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle apron the region’s vineyards of Sauternes. Semillon is the most widely planted, with roughly 75% of the distribution in the vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc is planted to a little less than 25%, while Muscadelle inhabits the remaining hectares (Muscadelle is able to contract Botrytis Cinerea but not to the same effect, thus being used in miniscule amounts). The three allowable grapes (by AOC law) thrive in a terroir of varying degrees of chalk, limestone, sand, clay and gravel which rest over an alluvial bed. The soil in Sauternes is warm and dry, accumulating heat due to the smooth flat pebbles and course gravel which collect the suns warmth.

The Sauternes’ plateau reaches elevations of 3 to 80 meters, awarding the location with a unique set of micro-climates and allowing winds from the east to move through the vineyards helping to remove unwanted moisture. This is especially crucial later in the growing season, as the noble rot sets in.

Noble rot, otherwise known as Botrytis Cinerea, is a fungus that attacks the grapes. The very unique and specific climate of this region allows for this magical process to occur. The grapes become shriveled, dehydrated and concentrated with extraordinary characteristics. The byproduct is a honey filled, tropical, roasted nut and exotic elixir that is otherworldly. Pineapple, peaches, flowers, orange, vanilla, butterscotch, coconut and honey infiltrate the nose and palate creating an experience that is euphoric. Typical Sauterne blends are golden yellow in color and turn amber when aged.

Due to the immense risks taken during the harvesting season, where the possibility of grey rot (grapes become overly saturated with moisture) could occur or the complete absence of noble rot, they are the most expensive wines in the world to produce. This viticultural hazard combined with the “gold” quality liquid commands top-dollar prices.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.

For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.

France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.

France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Region Sauternes : The white wines of Bordeaux are sometimes sadly looked over, as the region is primarily known for their almost absurdly powerful and delicious reds. However, if you like a refreshing, sweet treat on a late summer evening or you wish to complete your journey through Bordeaux's finest wines, you should not skip a Sauternes bottle or two. Made from a carefully balanced mixture of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grape varietals, this wine boasts an almost supernatural sweetness. This sugary nature can be attributed to the presence of noble rot that can cause the grapes to visually resemble raisins in a way.

We would completely understand if a single taste of fine Sauternes brought visible tears of joy to your eyes, as the flavor is just that magnificent. As you swirl the liquid gold in your mouth, an orchestral performance echoes on, with a grounding double bass of honey and the sharpness and acidity of a passionate violin solo. Notes of peach, apricot and nut punctuate the experience, sending you sky-high with inspiration and pure, emotional bliss. Let us open the door to a whole new world together.
Subregion Preignac
Cru Premier Cru


Producer Chateau Suduiraut : Located forty kilometers southeast of the city of Bordeaux, the 17th Century castle of Chateau Suduiraut stands proud upon prized ground. Its magnificent gardens and surrounding vineyards lay shrouded in morning fogs, which dispel soon after the golden rays of the sun embrace the vines. It is here, in the vineyards where something magical occurs; a natural wonder that has helped to define the greatness that is Chateau Suduiraut. Renowned for its highly-prized sweet wines made predominantly from Semillon, the Premier Cru Classe Sauternes’ estate has elicited joy and delight to consumers around the globe for centuries. It has since, increased its holdings and portfolio while perpetuating the founding principles upon which it was built.

The first chapter of Chateau Suduiraut was written in 1580 on the marriage of Nicole d'Allard to Leonard de Suduiraut; the property being a dowry. A grand chateau was constructed, but unfortunately, plundered and burned down during the Fronde insurrection, but then rebuilt in the 17th Century. The estate was re-named Cru du Roy (the name found on older bottles) in the late 18th century on being taken over by a nephew of the Suduiraut family, Jean Joseph Duroy, Baron of Noaillan. The family home then acquired a cartouche featuring the Suduiraut and Duroy coats of arms, which was to give rise to the escutcheon used by Chateau Suduiraut today.

Within close proximity to the esteemed Chateau d’Yquem, the 91-hectare vineyard of Suduiraut resides on prime Sauternes’ real-estate and a highly coveted terroir of gravely, sandy clay soils. It is this unique terroir that gives the wine its outstanding opulence. The thin soil which retains very little water leads to low yields. It concentrates the grapes' qualities and forces the vine to draw its nourishment from deep in the earth. The wine's relationship with the terroir is even stronger because of this, and expresses itself with strongly-marked minerality. Furthermore, the top layer of stones captures the sun’s heat, thereby helping the grapes to reach maturity more rapidly.

Another key element to the viticultural process is the development of Botrytis Cinerea, otherwise known as noble rot; a beneficial and welcome fungus that attacks the grapes, drying them to a raisin-like state and enclosing precious, concentrated juices inside. The result is a honeyed, nectar-like wine that is often referred to as “liquid gold”. Chateau Suduiraut’s geographic proximity to the Ciron and Garonne rivers allows this natural phenomenon to occur. They both provide ideal conditions for the development of Botrytis Cinerea: cool nights and morning autumn mists followed by fine sunny weather during the day.

The vineyards are planted to 88% Semillon and 12% Sauvignon Blanc. Semillon, a traditional variety of the region, when infected with noble rot has an ample structure on the palate and gives the wine great mellowness and unctuosity. Wines produced with Semillon grapes are remarkably aromatic, evoking honeyed fragrances, grilled dried fruits, acacia blossom and candied citrus. Sauvignon Blanc has very characteristic aromas such as citrus, white peach and exotic fruits. When vinified as a dessert wine, it adds a touch of acidity to the blend, bringing freshness and aromatic complexity.

Chateau Suduiraut’s Grand Vin, classed as a Premier Cru (or First Growth) in the Official Classification of 1855, is made entirely from Semillon grapes selected from the finest terroirs of the property. The wine is hand crafted at every stage of its development and reveals remarkable finesse and complexity and a golden color. With age the bright gold evolves to a dark amber. With an extensive life-span, it powerfully and harmoniously combines fruit and floral aromas with roasted and candied notes. It can be enjoyed on the young side, but will not reach full maturity until 15-40 years after the vintage, or in the best vintages even longer. It is one of the longest lived wines in the world.

The Suduiraut portfolio includes a second wine, Castelnau de Suduiraut, which made its debut in 1992. They also produce dry white Bordeaux wines. Their first dry white wine, S de Suduiraut, was produced with the 2004 vintage and in 2015, they added a second dry white Bordeaux wine, Le Blanc Sec. Le Blanc Sec was the property’s second effort in making entry levels wines. The estate launched the third wine in 2011, designed to reach younger customers, Lions de Suduiraut, which is produced from almost 100% Semillon and a small touch of Sauvignon Blanc to create the blend. It can be enjoyed upon release. Starting with the 2021 vintage, Chateau Suduiraut reinvigorated its lineup of dry white wines. Today, they produce Chateau Suduiraut Vieilles Vignes, which comes from their oldest vines, Chateau Suduiraut Pur Semillon which is made from 100% Semillon and Lions de Suduiraut Blanc Sec, which is their entry level Bordeaux Blanc.

This insanely delicious and diverse portfolio has limited availability on the market and should be purchased with haste as the wines are in high demand with low supply. For example, the 2020 Grand Vin produced a mere 3,000 cases. Chateau Suduiraut is among the finest producers in the world; innovative and unabashedly open to evolving its collection to adapt to new world palates, while also preserving its Grand Vin and the traditional vinification processes that have long lent great success to the region.

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