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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)
Planted grape varieties: 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
After a rather warm and dry winter, the weather was mild and humid from March to May. Mid-flowering occurred on June 16th with a cool but dry climate that continued until late July. August enjoyed cool and humid weather conditions. A dry and cold September with cool nights favored a rich aromatic palate. Rain during the first days of October contributed to the development of Botrytis cinerea. The heart of the harvest took place in excellent conditions, requiring 75 cutters that did a total of seven passages over the course of the harvest.
|September 29 to November 13
|7 manual successive passes
|Number of days of harvest:
|75% Sémillon, 23% Sauvignon Blanc, 2% Muscadelle
|100% barrel fermented, 100% new French oak
|18 month in new French oak barrels
Displaying a color of coppery gold with golden glints, the wine's nose opens up with very ripe, exotic fruits (mango, pineapple) and lemony zests mixed with a few notes of vanilla. On the palate, after a round and dulcet attack, one discovers a pleasant 'salty' minerality, giving freshness to the very ripe fruits. A palette of various exotic fruits, such as candied cherry plums and crystallized quince, brings up the toasted impression usually given by a beautiful botrytis. The middle of the palate is dominated by vivacious citrus fruits and persisting aromas of very ripe pineapple. This savory richness carries on with a beautiful, long finish, marrying minerality with candied citrus fruits, along with a crispy, tangy touch.
The 2008 Chateau Coutet has a very extroverted bouquet, with notes of tangerine, pink grapefruit, guava and pear drop, showing fine definition. The palate is well-balanced, with Coutet's trademark citrus-driven entry segueing into a pure honeyed, mineral-rich finish that is linear, but very composed at this stage. This will need time, but it already displays that trademark race and tension that are the hallmarks of a great Coutet. Drink now-2040. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, May 2011, 92/100