I’m a sucker for good Sauternes, especially when a great vintage comes around. 2014 is already looking like one of those potentially classic vintages in Sauternes, like 2001, 2003 and 2007 where the combination of acidity, richness and botrytis creates some scintillating bottlings.
A few weeks ago I ran through some of the new release Sauternes from some of the storied houses. Many of these wines won’t break the bank, as wines from storied houses Chateau Coutet and Chateau Doisy-Vendrines will only run about $25 for a half bottle and are downright awesome values out of Sauternes. While I have yet to try the 2014 D’Yquem, the wines that shined out of this tasting were the 2014 Chateau Rieussec and the 2014 Chateau Climens. Many experts see these houses to be only a slight step behind Chateau D’Yquem and I would have to generally agree. While the 2014 Chateau Rieussec shows incredible elegance and a seamless quality, the 2014 Chateau Climens is more masculine and intense, with an unctuous character. These are stunning wines that will age gracefully for 30 more years. Here are my recommended wines from the exciting 2014 vintage in Sauternes.
2014 Chateau Doisy-Vendrines Sauternes- Highly tight knit at the moment, the wine showcases ripe aromatics of bananas foster and creme brulee with a whiff of smoke. The weight is absolutely lovely as this wine has a wonderful seamless quality. Creme brulee, apricot, vanilla cream and roasted pineapple flavors impress. This really needs a decade or more of cellaring. Drink 2025-2045- 94
2014 Chateau Climens- Deep hued, this wine is somewhat aromatically reticent out of the gate. Roasted pineapple and bananas foster with butterscotch aromas entice. The unctuous quality of the wine is apparent as the mid-palate weight is sumptuous. The wine is highly elegant while maintaining obvious intensity. The weight and intensity of the wine is apparent. Vanilla creme brulee, lemon oil, apricot jelly and ripe pineapple flavors impress, as does the near minute long finish. This is highly focused and precise. Drink 2027-2057- 97
2014 Chateau Rieussec- The 2014 Chateau Rieussec is a highly refined style of Sauternes. This golden hued wine begins with aromas of apricot jelly, vanilla creme brulee, white rose and roasted pineapple. Seamless and showing incredible weight, this has a gorgeous texture and marvelous acidity. While this doesn’t have the unctuous quality, this balance is exquisite. The salinity and terroir is simply gorgeous. Creme brûlée, salted caramel, ripe banana and vanilla cream flavors impress. Finishing exceedingly long, this outstanding effort will cellar marvelously over the next 30 plus years. Drink 2022-2052- 97
2014 Chateau Coutet- Already showing a deep hue, the 2014 Chateau Coutet reveals aromas of ash, creme brulee, Meyer lemon oil, apricot and vanilla creme brulee. Ripe and intense, this showcases apricot jam, creme brulee, lemon zest and roasted pineapple. The mouthfeel and texture is stunning here. Already drinking beautifully this gorgeous wine will cellar well for the next two plus decades. Drink 2020-2040- 94