2013 Guiraud, Sauternes (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1161062 96 points Wine Spectator

 This is still really tight, with racy floral and green plum edges along the core flavors of white peach, mirabelle plum, melon and green fig, but this has stunning length, with a rapier of minerality that matches the sweetness step for step on the long, quinine-infused finish. Gorgeous, and built for the long haul. Best from 2018 through 2038.  (1/2016)

93-95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Barrel Sample. This rich wine is still developing its spice, ginger and complex fruits. The acidity is pronounced, with a fresh character that balances the full botrytis flavors.  (3/2014)

94 points Decanter

 A huge success in this vintage, with lovely aromas of dried jasmine flower and sweet spices. Pure, balanced sweetness, lean body and great precision for 2013.  (1/2016)

91-94 points Vinous

 Intensely perfumed and aromatic, the 2013 Guiraud is strikingly beautiful. Orange blossoms, mint, honey, crème brulee are some of the many notes that that take shape in the glass. The 2013 is exotic, perfumed and tropical, but not at all heavy. What a beautiful wine this is.  (4/2014)

93 points James Suckling

 This is tight and linear with dried-pineapple, honey and powdered mushroom character. Medium to full body, medium sweet and a light finish. Showing class for the vintage.  (4/2014)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Guiraud has a generous bouquet of rich honeyed fruit interlaced with quince and hints of marmalade, though I would like to see more mineralite and tension by the time of bottling. The palate is well-balanced with a spice-tinged entry, touches of Seville orange and mandarin emerging with time. There is good depth here, fine density with plenty of sinew toward the saline-tinged finish.  (4/2014)

90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (65% semillon and 35% sauvignon blanc): Medium yellow-gold. Exotic aromas of honeyed apricot, pineapple and crystallized ginger are complicated by marmalade-y botrytis, a rarity in 2013, in which the noble rot is usually fresher and more lemony. Very sweet and suave on entry, then intensely flavored in the middle, with an almost bitter botrytis character to the rich tropical fruit flavors. This has terrific concentration of fruit but is not hugely acidic and comes across as a little foursquare presently. It's certainly impressively dense and long on the back. This is Guiraud's third vintage to be organic-certified; a total of five passages were undertaken, beginning on September 26 and finishing on October 24.  (6/2014)

Jancis Robinson

 Rich, exotic fruit character. Apricot, starfruit, peach. Reminds me a bit of those rare botrytised Viogniers -- in a good way. Lovely, lovely acidity. Super length and concentration. Admirable! 18/20 points. Drink 2015-2025.  (4/2014)

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Price: $46.99
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- A rich, viscous, full-flavored but subtly-scented and botrytis-prone white grape, Sémillon reaches magical heights when infected with "noble rot" and combined with even small amounts of the aromatic and high-acid Sauvignon Blanc to make Sauternes, one of the world's most revered and longest-lived wines, and in the sweet wines of surrounding regions like Barsac. Sémillon's most famous incarnation is in the wines of Château d'Yquem, one of the world's most expensive wines, and one that has been known to evolve for centuries. It frequently dominates, but not by much, in the oak-aged whites of Bordeaux's Graves and Pessac-Léognan, creating honeyed and viscous wines that are unlike any others. Elsewhere in Bordeaux and around France it takes on a supporting role in the wines of Entre-Deux-Mers and the Médoc. While planted throughout France, Europe, California and Washington, Sémillon's role as underling usually keeps it out of the spotlight with a few winery-specific exceptions. However, the grape is allowed to shine in Australia's Hunter Valley, where it is used to make an elegant dry wine often called, perplexingly, Hunter Valley Riesling. It also makes some incredible dry, oaked wines from the Barossa and lovely stickies in the style of Sauternes.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


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