Chateau laville Sauternes 2016  £23.06

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Chateau laville Sauternes 2016

Château Laville is owned by Jean-Christophe Barbe and his family. Jean-Christophe’s particular area of expertise as an oenology professor at the University of Bordeaux is ‘noble rot’ which, as a producer of Sauternes, he has had plenty of opportunities to study first-hand.

The vineyards for Château Laville lie on gravel soils underpinned by limestone. The best plots are used to make the Grand Vin. Several passes through the vineyard are needed to ensure that only the most botrytised berries are selected. The wine is a blend of 90% Semillon and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. It is fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks before being aged in oak (50% new) for 30 months to give it just enough complexity while retaining freshness and the distinctive botrytis character.

A frequent recipient of awards, including several golds and a DWWA Trophy, Laville Sauternes is one of Bordeaux's best-kept secrets.

Chateau Laville has 14 hectares of vineyard in Sauternes which sit on gravel soils underpinned with limestone. The best plots are used to make the Grand Vin of Laville. The vines are approximately 35 years old. As with Delmond, Jean-Christophe passes through the vineyard five times during harvest to ensure that only the most botrytis-affected, or nobly rotten, grapes are selected.

Bordeaux had a wet spring, which proved to be helpful given the drought that was to follow. Successful flowering in early June was followed by almost 12 weeks of hot summer weather.

The grapes were pressed using pneumatic and vertical hydraulic presses. Fermentation took place at 20-22°C, in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine was subsequently aged in new 400-litre French oak casks for 30 months.

A bright, golden wine that opens with intense aromas of fresh citrus notes and hints of candied fruits. Rich and layered on the palate, it is expressive with orange blossom, dried figs and sweet spices. The finish is remarkably fresh and long.

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