Château Coutet

Château Coutet

This is one of the oldest estates in the Sauternes region, with a rich architectural heritage dating back to 13th century, when it was an English fortress. The square-tower design of the buildings is typical of military constructions at the time. Wine production commenced here in 1643, giving this property an enviable terroir, and Yquem's old stables were transformed into a cellar here in the late 19th century.

It is owned and run by the Baly Family, but is more widely available than many of its neighbours because it is exclusively distributed by the branch of the Baron Philippe de Rothschild organisation that owns Mouton.

The 38.5 hectares of vines, which have an average age of 38 years, are planted on limestone and clay soils. Coutet comes from the Gascon word for knife, indicating the soil's effect of producing grapes with crisp, fresh character.

The wine is typically a blend of 75% semillon, 23% sauvignon and 2% muscadelle, which is barrel fermented before ageing for 18 months in oak, 100% of it new. A true Barsac in style, notable for its fresh vivacity and delightful flowery citrus bouquet and delicacy as well as its richness on the palate, Coutet deserves its popularity. It tends to be lighter than Climens but can be very fine, and can age for four to 30 years.

It sometimes makes a 'supercuvée', called Cuvée Madame, from a few barrels (about 100 dozen) and since the quantity is so small, the château says it does not detract from the main wine.

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