Got a question. So is 2016 Sauternes any good? I have read nothing but horrible reviews on the vintage. It was a terrible growing season, botrytis came too late, grapes were already picked when it did, unexciting, nobody will be clamoring for them. Fellow board member Mike Grammer confirmed this opinion to me saying he was unimpressed with what he tasted at the annual UOGC tasting held here in Toronto, Canada. When they did finally come in to the shelves here in the LCBO last early October, something happened that I’ve never seen before with Sauternes – they stayed on the shelves and never moved.
Usually, I have to rush home to find something to trade in for them, send Mike a text telling him to grab some too, and then just barely get one of the last bottles on the shelves. He usually gets the actual very last ones. That’s been the pattern for the last two vintages. Yet here we are in January 2020 and the same bottles are still on the shelves. Like I said, I’ve never seen that before and obviously word has gotten around to wine collectors that 16 Sauternes is to be avoided.
But yesterday, they happened to have some 16 Lafaurie Peyraguey at the Summerhill tasting bar so I thought what the hell, may as well try. To my surprise, it was tropical and definitely had botrytis in it. Sure it was light in body, but LF is always lighter and more floral. It was basically exactly what I was expecting it to be. I actually wondered why everyone was ragging so badly on the vintage after that. So I cautiously traded in today at lunch for halfsies of 16 Rieussec, La Tour Blance and Clos Haut-Peyraguey. I avoided the Suiduiraut and Doisy-Vedrines but may trade in for the Lafaurie-Peyraguey. But that’s it.
The way I see it, if I am right I am getting a heck of a deal. If I am wrong, then I haven’t really lost anything and I can always trade the bottles back in for something else later on. With this said, I am still quite perplexed at the hate directed at the 16 vintage now. Am I right? Am I wrong? Is the 2016 Sauternes vintage actually any good? Or am I fooling myself and will find out so in a few short years? What experience are all of you out there having with it? I have to admit after that tasting I’m really perplexed at the attitude towards 16 Sauternes myself but am putting it out to the whole board now for your input.