Brumes de la Tour Blanche Sauternes
WHY WE LOVE IT
- The 3rd wine from Chateau La Tour Blanche. This wine is made from a selection of less concentrated juices.
- Fresh and light as the mists (translation of Brumes) of the Sauternes region
Varietal Composition: Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Muscadelle affected by the Noble Rot.
Elaboration: The grapes which arrive in the winery are perfectly botrytised, saturated with sugar and candied («confits») to perfection. Now, the almost magical act of transforming the grapes into wine begins.Once selected on the sorting table and pressed, the must obtained from the grapes undergoes a simultaneous reaction provoked by the Noble Rot: the acidity level diminishes and the sugar concentration level increases. The annual yield doesn’t go over 10 to 15 hl/ha due to a rigorous selection. Thus, only musts with an average potential of 20 to 22 degrees in alcohol are selected for the First Great Growth («1er Cru Classé»). The slightly less concentrated juices will be used for the production of the second or third wines. After a night of decantation, the alcoholic fermentation begins. After two to three weeks the desired balance between the sugar and the alcohol level is obtained and the fermentation process is stopped. This is the non-fermented residual sugar which makes the wine so rich, sweet and tasty. Like all wines, the barrels will be regularly topped up. In order to eliminate the lees the wine is racked every three months. On average, the ageing lasts from 16 to 18 months. It is only after this process that the blending begins – an art determined by strict taste assessments of the different batches. The results must equal customer required level. At Chateau La Tour Blanche, all the barrels are renewed every vintage and are made from French oak grown in Nievre, Allier and Vosges.
Tasting Notes: It is characterized by a lovely structure with a moderate sweetness, a great aromatic purity and a very pleasant vivacity making a well-balanced and fruity wine, ideal as an aperitif, to be appreciated young and chilled.
The figures who have shaped the destiny of La Tour Blanche are inextricably linked to its history. Each, in their own way, has contributed to making the estate one of the finest in Sauternes, by taking risks, by being imaginative, by challenging conventional thinking, and by investing.
We will start with Monsieur de Saint-Marc, Lord of La Tour Blanche – who would give the domaine its name. This was back in the mid-17th century. Saint-Marc was a clerk at the Court of the Parliament of Bordeaux. As he had considerable financial means at his disposal, he was able to transform the vineyards and its humble dwelling into a fine looking château, even having a tower built in order to justify the name!
Another figure who played an important role in building the reputation of Château La Tour Blanche, was German, Frederick Focke. At the time, there was a sizeable German community in the region, which was also influenced by English Protestantism. Mr Focke reinvented the sweet wine of Sauternes. Frederick Focke had brought with him a technique known as “late harvesting” already widely practiced in his country of origin, as well as by a few famous properties such as Yquem and Suduiraut. Not content to be just a pioneer, Frederick Focke was also among the influential and innovative owners who were able to persuade their fellow Sauternes producers – even the stubbornest among them – to carry out successive selections of the grapes at harvest time, which would be the key to the success of the appellation.
The merits of this initiative were proven when, the Sauternes crus, like those of the Médoc, were classified by the Syndicat des Courtiers en Vins de Bordeaux in 1855. At the time, the aim of this classification was to identify the “best” wines, those worthy of being showcased at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. Château La Tour Blanche – a Sauternes Premier Grand Cru – was, of course, one of the first selected.