Sip On This: Sweet Bordeaux Wines!

Sweet wines from Bordeaux are pretty special and should be enjoyed more often than they currently are. In the wine community, we enjoy these wines with savory dishes as well as cheeses and desserts. Outside the wine community, however, these wines are often misunderstood and overlooked. I recently participated in a virtual tasting with Snooth where we discovered 8 fantastic sweet Bordeaux wines. These wines are absolutely stunning and because I want wine lovers outside the wine community to enjoy these more often, I want you to consider bringing these wines to your holiday celebrations!

These wines aren’t just for the holidays, but since the celebrations are ahead, why not enjoy sweet Bordeaux wines this time of year? Sweet wines pair beautifully with a number of savory dishes, cheeses, and desserts. They also make great gifts and I encourage you to give these as gifts to your wine-loving friends and family members; trust me, they will be grateful.

Chateau Manos Cadillac 2015- This wine is a sweet fortified wine made from Semillon grapes, from the Cadillac region in Bordeaux. The area has clay and limestone soils, which give this sweet wine some depth and complexity. The grapes are farmed using sustainable methods, and approximately 80% of the grapes that contribute to this wine have botrytis, or “noble rot”. The wine expresses notes of honey, spice, and citrus. It is fresh, full of finesse and will absolutely do well up to 15 years of aging. 

Chateau La Rame Sainte Croix du Mont 2014- One of the oldest and most renowned properties in the Sainte Croix du Mont appellation. “At their finest, the wines of Sainte Croix du Mont can rival the great wines of Sauternes and Barsac which are directly opposite Sainte Croix du Mont on the other side of the river.” – Madrose.com. This wine is sweet and bright with balanced notes of honey, citrus, and stone fruit. On the palate, it is elegant yet playful and would also do well with aging. 

Chateau Du Cros Loupiac 2014- Loupiac is a sweet white wine appellation in the Bordeaux region. This wine is made with Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, and Semillon grapes, which is a typical white Bordeaux blend. The Semillon adds the desired honey driven notes, while the Sauvignon Blanc brings the grass notes needed in the wine, all while Muscadelle brings the desired grapey flavors. This is a very popular wine among wine consumers who enjoy this style of sweet wine. It is often paired with fruit-driven desserts and would go nicely with a chocolate crusted fruit tart, or poached pears. 

Chateau Dauphine Rondillon Loupiac 2009- Another wine from the Loupiac appellation made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes. This is a well-balanced wine full of lush fruit with honey and saffron notes. This wine is medium sweet, with less noticeable botrytis characteristics. Overall this wine is one not to miss! 

Chateau Lauvignac Cuvee Sahuc Sauternes 2014- A Sauternes that should not be turned down! This sweet wine is lovely and made of mostly Semillon grapes with smaller portions of Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris. Sauternes, like many sweet wines, will pair with desserts, however, this one was meant for bold cheeses such as blue cheese or something simply seductive like foie gras terrine! Do you dare to pair with this stunning Sauternes? 

Chateau Lapinesse Sauternes 2014-  This Sauternes is lush and balanced with honey and orange flavors. It is light and fresh with plenty of sweet characters and nice acidity. This wine is one that will easily age, however you can certainly enjoy it now but make sure you pair it also with some blue cheese, grilled bread, and foie gras! 

Haut Charmes Sauternes 2015-  This Sauternes is charming and sweet with exceptional aromas and flavors. Alongside the traditional pairings I mentioned above with the two other Sauternes, this one will also pair with white meats as well as chocolate. It is unique, balanced, and made from the younger vines of the region’s most legendary château. 

Chateau Filhot Sauternes 2009- This Sauternes is seductive and rich with enticing fruit and spice notes. Intense honey and apricot fill your nose, while the palate is filled with tropical fruit and botrytis notes. It’s complex and can easily pair with blue cheese as well as chocolate. I would even go as far as a chocolate crusted fruit tart, topped with honey and lime as well for an interesting and well-balanced pairing. 

For those thinking about trying some of these sweet wines from Bordeaux, I absolutely recommend it! These wines are all very well priced, ranging from $15-50+ (depending on the store, wine, and bottle size) and again, will age beautifully. Whether you’re gifting a wine lover or simply want to wow your guests this holiday season, a sweet wine from Bordeaux should be on your must-have list!

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love… please pair responsibly!

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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