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Bordeaux – France

Sauternes, 40 miles (65km) south of Bordeaux city, is a village famous for its high-quality sweet wines. Although some wineries here produce dry wines, they sell them under appellations other than the sweet-specific Sauternes appellation. The village is surrounded on all sides by vineyards, the best of which produce some of the world’s most prestigious, long-lived and expensive dessert wines. A half-bottle of top-quality, aged Sauternes wine from a good vintage can command prices in excess of US$1000.

The classic Sauternes wine has an intense golden color (darker than most other dessert wines), which turns a deep amber as it ages in bottle. The aromas include blossom and stone fruit, with a hint of honeysuckle – the trademark of botrytized wines. The best wines balance sweetness with acidity, concentration with freshness, and power with elegance.

TypeRegionNameVintageRating
Chateau Coutet 1CC BarsacChateau Coutet 1CC BarsacRP 92
Chateau Doisy VedrinesChateau Doisy VedrinesRP 92
Chateau La Maroutie MonbazillacChateau La Maroutie Monbazillac-
Chateau Petit Vedrines SauternesChateau Petit Vedrines SauternesDoisy V 91
Château Rieussec 1CCChâteau Rieussec 1CCRP 90