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The 2003 Suduiraut was picked with just one trie and the entire harvest was done in two weeks,” Seely told me. “The wine was matured in 40% new oak for 14 months. The final wine had 136gm/L residual sugar and 4.02gm/L total acidity. It has an unusual equilibrium for Suduiraut, but it is surprisingly fresh.” Montégut is not quite so convinced. “There was a sudden ripeness, so there is not the same complexity. There is a passerillage or Tokaji flavor on the finish.” Now at 15 years of age, the 2003 can hold its head high, given the growing season. It has retained sufficient freshness, although it is quite bold and now feels a little short.
Classed as a Premier Cru in 1855, it is made from grapes selected from the finest terroirs of the property. This wine is hand crafted at every stage of its elaboration and reveals remarkable finesse and complexity and a golden colour reminiscent of the sun that made it possible. With age the bright gold evolves to a dark amber colour.
With an extensive life-span, it powerfully and harmoniously combines fruit and floral aromas with roasted and candied notes.
Its superlative elegance comes from a match of total opposites: a voluptuous texture, mineral freshness and the heat of spices. Château Suduiraut is designed for all those who enjoy sensory and emotional experiences that are both rich and full of surprises and leave a lasting memory.
Today Château Suduiraut has vineyards that spread out over a 92-hectare area in Preignac and Sauternes. The soil is dominated by gravel and a mix of clay and sand. According to Montégut, Preignac’s soil gives the wines their high acidity and mineral content and also a unique mint-like aroma. The Sauternes regions, on the other hand, contain more clay, in turn guaranteeing the wines’ rich colour and magnificent structure. In the vineyards, almost only Sémillon is cultivated, with Sauvignon Blanc forming only 10 per cent of the blend. The annual production of some 100,000 bottles is divided into three different wines: the lusciously rich and concentrated Château Suduiraut, the lighter, sweet and mineral Castelnau de Suduiraut, and a crisp, dry white wine called “S” de Suduiraut.
2003 was the hottest vintage ever seen in Bordeaux. The most successful châteaux have passed their exceptional 2000s and some claim to have made their greatest wines in living memory.
Very dry and extremely hot summer days and nights (16 days > 95°F compared to 2 in 2000, 6 in 2005, 4 in 2009). Need to eliminate the superscript here. I can't figure out how to do it.) The deeply colored reds, low acidities and high tannins are a departure from the classic Left Bank profile. St.-Estèphe and Pauillac are the most successful. The reds have largely reached their peak. It remains a controversial vintage, with opinions sharply divided as to its intrinsic quality. The white grape harvest began in mid-August. Rich, fatty whites, some acidified, not for long storage.
The extreme summer heat presented winemakers with a significant challenge. Sugar levels increased dramatically in late summer as some growers took the plunge and harvested early to preserve acidity. However, winemakers who waited until their grapes were fully ripe were rewarded with rich, concentrated, dark-colored wines displaying astonishing depth of fruit and plenty of complexity.
Generally speaking, the great wines of 2003 come from the northernmost communes of the Médoc: and in particular from Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe. Highlights include Lafite, Latour, Pichon Baron, Montrose and Cos d’Estournel. Quality was more uneven in the south of the Médoc although Château Margaux, true to form, produced one of the wines of the vintage.
The right bank properties of St Emilion and Pomerol, where temperatures were even warmer, produced inconsistent wines and volumes were massively reduced. Vieux Château Certan, which usually produces 4,000 cases per year, only produced 800 last year. Estates that have resisted this model and produced exceptional wines include Figeac, Ausone, Fetyit Clinet and Angelus.
Graves and Pessac-Lèognan fared better, but many châteaux produced wines that were alcoholic and expansive, but lacked the fresh, linear fruit core that distinguished the best of 2003. The exceptions are Haut-Bailly, the powerful and concentrated Domaine de Chevalier, and of course the thoroughbred stable of wines from Haut-Brion and La Misson Haut-Brion.