The Château Coutet vines' deep roots extract elements from its terroir to give the grapes freshness, richness and strength. For this reason the estate carries the name "Coutet,” derived from the Gascon's word for knife, to signify the fresh, lively and crisp palate that is the wine's signature style. In its youth, the wines display generous notes of white flowers, citrus fruits, honey and vanilla. Ginger and pineapple are very typical aromas in a young Château Coutet. Time brings out deeper, warmer notes in which spices combine with exotic nectars and candied fruits, such as gingerbread mingled with marmalade. Age also enhances the harmony of its roasted Botrytis character and its distinct aromas to give Château Coutet a delicate and unique bouquet that is unsurpassed.
Area under vines: 38.5 hectares (95 acres)
- 75% Sémillon
- 23% Sauvignon blanc
- 2% Muscadelle
Soil: Clay with a limestone sub-soil
Average age of the vines: 38 years
Planting density: 7,500 plants per hectare (3,000 plants per acre)
Vineyard management: "Taille à Cot" (traditional Sauternes pruning) and rational cultivation
Harvest: By hands (successive passes, called tries)
Average yield: 9 hL/ha (0.9 ton per acre)
Ageing: 18 months in French oak barrels, 70 to 100% new
The year 2009 was characterized by a warmer and drier climate than usual. A particularly sunny August, followed by an Indian summer, allowed for the berries to reach an exceptional maturation level. On September 18th, rainfalls marked the beginning of the development of Botrytis cinerea on very ripe berries. This was the first indication of a great harvest to come, providing the foundation to a monumental vintage for the region and for the property. Only five passages through the estate's plots were necessary, with 70% of the fruit picked on the third tries. The short and condensed harvest resulted in a rare purity that gives today the wine strength, complexity and freshness. This wine's style is fully representative of Bordeaux's 2009 vintage characteristics.
|Harvest dates:||September 18 to October 22|
|Tries:||6 manual successive passes|
|Number of days of harvest:||28|
|Grape varieties:||75% Sémillon, 23% Sauvignon Blanc, 2% Muscadelle|
|Fermentation:||100% barrel fermented, 100% new French oak|
|Ageing:||18 month in new French oak barrels|
|Estate bottled:||June 2011|
A deep golden color, the vintage's first aromatic sensation impresses one by its richness, mixing the typical notes of a beautiful botrytisation (citrus, exotic and candied fruits, as well as hints of honey) with more delicate, slightly spicy, subtle and elegant touches. On the palate, a great complexity springs up, blending volume and roundness with notes of candied fruits, plum brandy, cherry plum liquor, as well as more classic notes typical of the ageing process such as well-integrated vanilla, caramel, toffee, but also mild spices and white pepper. The finish is expressive, powerful, warm, and quite long, giving back a very pleasant freshness thanks to notes of candied orange zests.
The Coutet 2009 is a sensational effort from Philippe Baly and his team. It has a fragrant nose of honey, verbena tea, pineapple, frangipane and apple-blossom, well defined if needing a little more vigor at the moment. The palate is vibrant on the entry, informed by touches of apricot and orange peel, very focused and tensile towards the long, sensuous, viscous finish. It has the same minerality exuded by Doisy-Daëne and reminds me of a stellar '62 tasted just a few weeks previously. A magnificent Coutet. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, April 2010, 96 – 98/100