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 2010 was drier and cooler than experienced previously. With the exception of the end of March, which was particularly warm and rainy, the beginning of the year was relatively dry and cold. Despite these circumstances, budbreak was not delayed and began on April 3rd. A mild and dry April regularized plant growth. After a return to cooler temperatures and a lack of rain in May, flowering took place during the warmer conditions of early June. However, a few rain showers occurred mid-month that prevented some fruit set. The climate was hot and dry through the end of July. The relatively cool temperatures recorded in August extended véraison. After an overall drier summer than usual, a few rainfalls occurred mid-September that enabled a rapid onset of the Botrytis Cinerea fungus throughout the vineyard; the result was the presence of 'Noble Rot' on beautifully ripe berries.
The last week of September was dry and marked the beginning of harvest with the first tries (pass) amongst the estate's various plots. Alternation between rain and sun helped finalize the onset of the Botrytis Cinerea and allowed the successive passes to be completed in good conditions throughout the fall.
Interestingly, 2010 represents a climatic profile quite similar to the year 1962; an outstanding vintage in the Sauternes appellation.
Very favorable climatic conditions were enjoyed throughout the year with a dry and a cool summer to optimize the maturity of grapes. The fall that followed proved ideal for the development of the Botrytis cinerea. Throughout the harvest, slight precipitation was recorded on weekends, followed by sunshine on weekdays. The latter was accompanied by a northern wind that allowed grape bunches to dry quickly, preventing the onset of undesired rot. These excellent conditions were particularly suited and adapted for successive passes through the property's plots which are required to pick the botrytised berries at the optimal point for the desired concentration of both sugars and aromas – key prerequisites for a vintage full of complexity.
|Harvest dates:||September 13 to November 3|
|Tries:||6 manual successive passes|
|Number of days of harvest:||24|
|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 2012|
A beautiful golden color, the wine's extremely fine nose brings in lovely hints of very ripe exotic and citrus fruits as well as vanilla, with a tinge of subtle and elegant floral aromas. On the palate, the wine is fleshy, round and dulcet with a perfect balance between power, freshness and finesse, enhanced by the persistent aromatic zests of citrus, mingled with notes of preserved apricot. The finish is dense and rich, yet gives an impression of 'crispness' with the presence of fresh fruits. It is the expression of a very promising but young vintage, with the power and the complexity that are expected of a harvest with excellent climatic conditions.
The 2010 Château Coutet has 154-gms/litre residual sugar, one of the highest in Sauternes/Barsac. It is endowed with delightful bouquet of freshly sliced mango, Tropicana and a touch of honey, with good definition and minerality. The palate is medium-bodied with very impressive balance and poise, and is slightly viscous in the mouth, with almond, lemon curd and a touch of orange peel. The finish is composed and long. The 2010 Coutet is very impressive for the vintage... Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate, May 2011, 93 - 95 /100