Chateau Coutet: Past, Present And Future

We’re only one month into 2011, and have already had one extremely successful “Winemaker Event”! It was with great pleasure that we welcomed Aline Baly of Chateau Coutet to Restaurant Picco in Larkspur on the evening of January 17th for a dinner pairing her wines with a multi-course, savory dinner. Several TWH customers and members of local media were in attendance, and everyone’s expectations were exceeded! Picco Chef Jared Rogers dialed in an amazing array of flavors and textures that worked oh-so-well with 3 different vintages of Chateau Coutet. As a special treat, Ms. Baly shared with all guests a taste of the not yet released 1997 Cuvee Madame! We sincerely thank Aline, Chef Jared, the Picco staff and all guests for their contributions to what amounted to a win-win-win-win evening! Ms. Baly plans to return to San Francisco sometime this summer, and we have been discussing another event, this time in the city. We have a list of interested parties for such an event, please contact me if you would like to be added to the list: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net. 

Coordinating such an event brought some unexpected good fortune. As we were investigating menu options and which vintages of Chateau Coutet we would be pouring, the topic of older vintages hovered just above our pragmatic decision to use wines that were already here in-stock. Later that week, after the UGC tasting, Aline informed me that there was a limited amount of both the 1976 and 1989 Chateau Coutet available directly from the Chateau!

Past:
Limited quantities of both the 1976 and 1989 Chateau Coutet are available directly from the Chateau. These two pre-arrival wines are expected to arrive by fall 2011.
1976 Chateau Coutet Barsac (Pre-Arrival)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$79.00
Add to Cart
Robert Parker calls this “One of the best Coutets of the 1970′s”. It’s a seriously big, complex Barsac with the “trademark (Coutet) acidity.”  

Know anyone born in 1976? This will make a great birthday gift for those 35ers out there!

1989 Chateau Coutet Barsac (Pre-Arrival)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$79.00
Add to Cart
From the middle vintage of the famous trio of ’88, ’89 and ’90, the 1989 Coutet is like heaven now, and has the stuffing to last and last. The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin uses words like “harmony and precision” in his stellar review of this classic Coutet!
Present:
Current vintages of Chateau Coutet in-stock now:
2005 Chateau Coutet Barsac (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$29.98
Add to Cart
2005 Chateau Coutet Barsac
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$59.98
Add to Cart
“Tasted single blind at Southwold. Much lighter on the nose. Passion fruit, white peach and nectarine, then a hint of white flowers. The palate has a good level of botrytis, quite minerally, nice tension with dried apricot and spicy, quince flavours coming through on the linear finish. Time should mellow this out. Excellent. Drink 2012-2025. Tasted January 2009. 92 points” – Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate 

I could go on and on about this one, wait, I already have!

2006 Chateau Coutet Barsac (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$24.98
Add to Cart
2006 Chateau Coutet Barsac
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$49.98
Add to Cart
I tasted this at the UGC SF in 2007, and was quite taken by it. Again, we’re talking brilliant acidity, finesse and balance. I took one bottle of wine home for my birthday last year. It was this one. 

The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker had this to say, “Light to medium gold with a greenish hue, this wine exhibits wonderfully pure notes of wood spice such as vanillin, honeyed citrus, a hint of under-ripe peach, and touches of creme brulee and marmalade. With great acidity and finesse, this is a medium-bodied, impressively endowed, but generally very racy, restrained style of wine that should age beautifully for 25 or more years. It is not the sweetest, and by no means the biggest wine of 2006, but it has nobility tattooed all over it. – 92 points”

2007 Chateau Coutet Barsac (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$29.98
Add to Cart
2007 Chateau Coutet Barsac
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$58.98
Add to Cart
“This has a relatively simple but crisp nose with dried honey, apricot, quince and a touch of almond. The palate is well balanced with good acidity and botrytis, pure, quite linear with white peach, pear, a touch of mandarin and citrus acidity cutting through its viscous texture towards the finish. It improves the more it remains in the mouth, the nose seeming to absorb energy, the palate becoming ever more “pixilated”. This is another intellectual Sauternes that should age beautifully. Drink 2012-2030+ 94 points” – Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate 

This is a serious effort here, and of course, I’m a fan!

Future:
Available vintages of Chateau Coutet as futures. Note: 2008 is expected to arrive late 2011; 2009 is expected late 2012.
2008 Chateau Coutet Barsac (Pre-Arrival)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$59.00
Add to Cart
At UGC San Francisco, 1/21/11: “Zesty, lively fruit aromas, botrytis, hints of tropical fruit and marshmallow; zippy entry, lively, intensifies, brilliant acidity … pineapples and honey; acidity carries lengthy finish” – PZ  

May I add, that as I began tasting the Gold Wines, there was a couple just finishing, and as they tasted the Coutet, they looked at each other and proclaimed, “Winner! This is the best of the bunch!”

2009 Chateau Coutet Barsac (Pre-Arrival)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$79.00
Add to Cart
From The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin: “The Coutet 2009 is a sensational effort from Philippe Baly and his team. It has a fragrant nose of honey, vervain tea, pineapple, frangipane and apple-blossom, well defined if needing a little more vigour at the moment. The palate is vibrant on the entry, informed by touches of apricot and orange peel, very focused and tensile towards the long, sensuous, viscous finish. It has the same minerality exuded by Doisy-Daene and reminds me of a stellar ’62 tasted just a few weeks previously. A magnificent Coutet. (96-98 points)” 

 

Peter Zavialoff
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Filed under French Wine, Gold Wine, Peter Zavialoff, Sauternes

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