2001 Sauternes “Hello Sweetie”

(Wednesday, February 14, 2018) —  What is more appropriate for a Valentine’s Day tasting than incredible dessert wines?   Our tasting features an outstanding vintage of one of the world’s outstanding regions for dessert wines.

Sauterne’s location at the southern end of Bordeaux, and its climate allow, in good years, the growth of Botrytis Cinerea (Noble Rot) on the grapes.  This attacks the grapes, dehydrating them and providing veritable oenological elixirs with increased concentration and richness, as well as distinctive aromas.

2001 was an exceptional year for Sauternes.   Renowned London Wine Merchant Berry Bros & Rudd put it this way:  “2001 has produced a truly exceptional crop of hedonistic Sauternes, equaling and even surpassing the greatest vintages of the last 50 years like 1990, 1988, 1976 and 1967. Some owners and critics are heralding it as the finest vintage ever.”   Critics’ tasting notes over the years since have borne out that judgement.  The best wines are just reaching adolescence and still have decades ahead, but can surely be appreciated now.

The pinnacle of our tasting is the 2001 Ch d’Yquem.  Jancis Robinson has published eight tasting notes on this wine between 2009 and 2017 – one wonders how much you have to pay to get a job like that!  In 2015 she gave it 20 pts (out of 20), saying “Such intensity and tension. Great richness and creaminess combined with extreme liquid excitement. Stunning.”  Six of the other eight ratings of this wine were 19 or 19.5 and one 18.  By the way, she has given 20 pts to just 141 wines – less than 0.09% of her all ratings!

Our path to the summit also includes Ch Rieussec, probably second only to Yquem in this vintage and rated almost as highly by Jancis.  From the lower slopes we have Chateaux Filhot, Bastor-Lamontagne, Myrat & Cantegril.   By way of a slight detour, we are also pouring a 2001 Barsac, Ch Doisy-Vedrines.  Barsacs typically have a little lighter and fresher style than the rest of Sauternes.  Will you be able to spot this?

To go with these great wines we will also be serving some sweet and also some savoury bites to further bring out the qualities of the wines and to help go with the flavor of the evening.   Please also note that, in view of the richness of these wines, we will not be pouring a mystery wine.

We are very happy to announce that our speaker at this tasting will be Bill Redelmeir, founder and owner of Southbrook winery in Niagara.  Bill is a former director of Winetasters, and self-confessed Sauternes lover from the very start of his wine journey.  He tells us he has tasted 1784 d’Yquem… “Not the oldest wine I have tried but one of the best and most memorable”.  We are lucky to have him lead us through these wines.

As always with our tastings, this event will be strictly non-smoking, and we request your cooperation in not wearing any scented after-shave or perfume.  Please don’t drink & drive.

Date: February, 14, 2018
Time:  6:45 p.m.
Limit:  66 people
Members: $99*
Guests: $125*
*Price including HST

GST/HST account: 844742619RT0001
Business Name: Winetasters Society of Toronto

Cancellations accepted up to Feb 12th, 2018 — (Jennifer Curran 905-829-4675 evenings only). No reservations by phone, please. No mail confirmations will be issued — you will be contacted only if we are sold out.  First come basis. Non-members may attend at guest rates, but preference will be given to members.



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