A stunning contrast was in store as we headed south of Bordeaux into the Graves, and more specifically into the famous areas of Sauternes and Barsac. This was a day of superb wines, fabulous historic buildings, a sublime fish lunch and an opportunity to experience at first hand the legendary Chateau d’Yquem and the sublime Chateau Guiraud. As Yquem only takes small groups, we split into two halves and I joined the two visits to Yquem. This is my third visit to this extraordinarily famous estate and it never fails to disappoint. Situated in the highest point in Sauternes, 110 hectares of vines surround the estate. Attention to detail is evident everywhere. The estate is immaculate, beautifully adorned and quality and focus is infused into every aspect of the operation.
Having toured the cellar, we entered the stylish tasting room where you taste two wines. The dry white Ygrec 2018 which is a sensational, rich wine with 7gms/l of residual sugar which gives it a richness rather than sweetness. A mindblowing wine.
The 2016 Chateau d’Yquem followed. A magnificent sweet wine that was rich and elegant. Not as luscious as some vintages but beautifully balanced with many decades ahead of it.
We headed back to Chateau Guiraud where we had left the other half of the group and received great reports of an excellent visit and tasting with 2016, 2009 and 1996 being the selection.
Lunch was La Chapelle restaurant – part of the Guiraud estate. Smoked sturgeon, perfectly cooked cod and a strawberry tart was all perfectly prepared and washed down with magnums of the G de Guiraud – their dry white and some 2016 Petit G – the second label sweet wine.
A wonderful day.
Saint Emilion beckons for Friday.