2000 Les Charmilles de Tour Blanche (Sauternes)
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $16.94 (reg. $34.94)
No wine can quite match the charm and complexity of an aged Sauternes. Considering its profound ageing capacity, Sauternes arguably offers the best value in all of Bordeaux. Per Jancis Robinson, “Given the risks and costs involved in its production, it remains underpriced in relation to the enormous pleasure it brings”. In no other Bordeaux region could you reasonably expect to find a 17-year-old wine from a Premier Cru producer for under $20, but we’ve got exactly that.
Les Charmilles de Tour Blanche is the second wine of first growth estate La Tour Blanche. Per Robert Parker, “this property has been making superlative wines since 1988.” Per Chris Kissack, La Tour Blanche produces wines that “one can buy with confidence”, and calls this second wine a “tremendous value...”.
We say that Les Charmilles is La Tour Blanche’s second wine, though in 2000 it was the only wine produced at the estate. The 2000 vintage was a challenging one in Sauternes, and the technical team opted to focus solely on the younger and fresher style of Les Charmilles. With La Tour Blanche routinely over $40/bottle (online average accounting for all averages is currently $71), for a mere $16.94, this 2000 bottling is a bargain.
At 17 years of age, the 2000 Les Charmilles is in a beautiful spot and is a must-taste for fans of mature Sauternes. The complexity on display here encapsulates why wine lovers are so fascinated with this part of the wine world, and why so few dessert wines can even come close. There is still a lot of luscious fruit here, though the puppy fat has fallen away and there is a delicious savory component as well. There is a great length, and a well-balanced acidity holds it all together. This will still hold on for the rest of the decade easily, but why wait?
Nobody else in the US has this wine, and we’ve got it at well under $20 a bottle. For bargain-hunting Bordeaux buyers with a sweet tooth, this is a no-brainer. Cheers!