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Sauternes
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A Study of the Great Sweet Wines of Bordeaux
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VL, Guiraud

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Chateau Guiraud

 Sauternes, Bordeaux

French Wines

Chateaux Guiraud, Bordeaux, SauternesChateau Guiraud, Chai
Situated 45 km south of Bordeaux on the left bank of the Garonne river, the Sauternes-Barsac appellation area covers 2200 ha over 5 communes: Sauternes, Barsac, Preignac, Fargues and Bommes. Château Guiraud, with a surface area of 128ha is situated entirely in the Sauternes commune. 100ha is the total of planted vines at Château Guiraud, divided into 74 lots, a total of 98,21ha of producing vines, all trained on wires. The varieties grown on the vineyard are: Semillon (58.7ha or 59.7%) Sauvignon (37.5ha or 38.27%) There are 2 different appellations on the vineyard. The area under Appellation Sauternes Controllée . This area covers 82ha 58a and 87ca Composed of 65% Semillon and 35% Sauvignon with, as stipulated in the appellation rules, a pruning ‘en cot’ for the Semillon and with long branches for the Sauvignon The density is 6667 vines per ha for the vines planted at 1.5 m and 5000 vines/ha for those planted at 2m. (rootstock Riparia 33 09, 101, 14). The percentage of Sauvignon at Château Guiraud is quite high, 35% compared to an average of 10% in the appellation. This is one of Guiraud’s unique characteristics.

Chateau Guiraud, Sauternes, BordeauxChateau  Guiraud
The concentrated grapes arrive in small plastic crates and are carefully tipped into the wine press. The harvest is pressed in its entirety. We have four pneumatic presses enabling us at pressing to separate the grapes into batches from each plot of land. We start by using low pressure (0,2 bars) to release the first juice, less rich, during one hour. The liquid released is rich, fat very sweet, it has to find a way through the berries squashed together by the pressure. After this initial stage the pressure is gently increased to 2 bars (for 2 hours) to extract the richer juice and to allow it to run free. The volume from a pressing is between 12-13 hl. At the end of the harvest we will have an average of 50 to 60 different batches of wine. The separation of these batches will ensure that each batch will keep its own personality, potential and characteristics. (All the batches do not have the same potential alcohol percentage, nor the same soil structures, orientation, yield, age…). So at blending we will have a wide range of aromas and complexity allowing us a wide choice of possible blends to create a great Guiraud. In this crucial choice our objective is to remain true to the characteristics of our particular style and that of our ‘terroir’.

Sauternes
Sauternes is a type of dessert wine from the Sauternais region of the Graves section in the well known Bordeaux wine making area of France. Sauternes is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot. The Botrytis Wine Club, SAPROS is the first word in ancient Greek, which dared to associate the notions of rot, of overripe fruit, of nectar, of mellow and of noble within a wine. Rare in France are sweet or semi-sweet wines obtained uniquely by natural concentration. These exceptional wines are the result of a work ethic both in the vines and in the cellars, respecting nature enabling the wines to become a specific and magical expression of the soils and the grape varieties both translating and perfecting their uniqueness. During tastings, meetings and exchanges around surrounding botrytised wines throughout France several of these winemakers have decided to create in the spring of 2001 an "Association loi 1901" named SAPROS... We share the same ethic based upon a simple precept. Our sweet wines must be the natural offspring of the sun, wind, mists and botrytis. Therein lies their magic..... Artificial procedures of concentration and enrichment, are obviously reviled and banished.

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