Monday, 15 August 2016
Sauternes and Chateau Myrat
The region lies about 40km south of Bordeaux around the confluence of the Ciron and The Garonne.
It was explained to us that the Ciron maintains a lower temperature than the larger river. In summer the mixing of the two waters produces an evening mist the sun does not burn away until the middle of the next day.
The mist is conducive to the formation of Botrytis cinerea or noble rot, a type of fungal infection. The sun-drying in the afternoons however prevents decay. The result is a wizened or raisin-like grape which has far less moisture than normal but far higher sugar content.
The wine ages well, progressively darkening in colour as it does so, from blonde through honey to copper (right). It is said the taste develops in sophistication. Unfortunately I am no longer convinced that my wine cellar holds a sufficiently constant temperature all year round, so I shan't risk it for too long.
For myself I was completely delighted with the wine of Chateau Myrat (above and top left). I believe I was heard to declare that it was so superior to anything of the same appellation I'd tasted before that none of the latter could possibly have been real Sauternes.