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Top 10 Sauternes

Serving Sauternes at a dinner party is a true sign that a sophisticated wine drinker is present. Yes, Sauternes is a sweet wine, which isn't the majority of what we consume, but it is such a delicate process and special wine that it definitely has a place at the dinner table. And we happen to have several top name Sauternes for sale.

We serve Sauternes with dessert, but we've also had it as a pairing to rich, sweet and spicy first courses. Served chilled, as it warms up the complex and abundant flavors emerge - honeysuckle, honey, honeydew, wildflowers, salted caramel, pineapple, almond...and many more. It's almost a dessert by itself!

Hiding behind this delicious nectar is an extremely complex winemaking process, particularly the fragility of the growing and harvesting. Sauternes is NOT a late harvest wine. Instead, immediately after the grapes mature a fungus, called botrytis, grows on the grape clusters if all of the weather conditions are perfectly aligned. Some years, there is no harvest at all, like the early 1990's, because growing conditions do not materialize the botrytis properly.

One of the most appealing Sauternes byproducts to wine collectors is the longevity of the bottle contents - many premium labels have been tasted after 100 years and they still have plenty of life left in them. Yet, Sauternes can be thoroughly enjoyed when young and when very, very old.

Due to the myriad of factors at play, the price of Sauternes is not generally cheap. Chateau d'Yquem is considered the king of Sauternes and those bottles can sell for often thousands of dollars. The next tier down, still amazing products, are much more reasonable. And, of course, you can always get half-bottles to enjoy the same wine at half the price.