Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Pioneering technique captures ‘intensity’ of Sauternes in dry white

Published:  19 April, 2022

Sauternes producer Château d’Arche is claiming a first in identifying the development of Botrytis before the first visible signs emerge, allowing it to release a modern dry white expressing the complexity of aromas associated with Noble Rot.

The launch of A – Château d’Arche 2020 comes off the back of research conducted with the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, which means the producer can now identify chemical precursors in the skin of the grape, allowing harvest at “the precise moment when the Botrytis starts to develop”.

The aim, said Didier Galhaud, director of operations at Château d’Arche, has been to evolve the distinct Sauternes’ Botrytis-induced character to meet the tastes of today’s wine drinkers.

“The timing is critical because as soon as this happens the aromas of the Sémillon and Sauvignon grapes multiply to create a dry white wine with exactly the same intensity of aromas as a Sauternes,” said Galhaud.

He added: “‘It’s our savoir-faire for making Sauternes combined with this innovative technique that we have developed to manage the Botrytis which have enabled us to make this unique new dry white Bordeaux, A. It’s the reason why the wine is so aromatic and complex and also what sets it apart from wines being made in other dry white producing regions.”

A blend of 85% Semillon and 15% Sauvignon, following harvest the wine is aged on lees for six months, with half in stainless steel vats, and a mix of new barrels and used Sauternes barrels used for the remainder to “further enhance” the aromatic and flavour profile associated with the sweet Sauternes style.

A – Château d’Arche 2020 has been released in the UK via The Wine Society, coming in at £13.95 a bottle.