ALINE BALY - Special cuvee

Thank you in advance but is there a plan to bottle a special release in the future, ‘cuvee madame’ as in the past?

Again Thank you,

Hi Jason,

Great question!

To bring everyone up to date that may have heard whispers of the special Cuvee but not know the full story:

The origin of Cuvée Madame goes back to Madame Rolland-Guy, owner of Château COUTET
between 1922 and 1977. During this period, the vineyard workers were in the habit of working unpaid for one day to pick the last remaining grapes from one of the property’s two oldest parcels, whose berries were super-concentrated. A sweet wine of incomparable richness and flavor was obtained in this way. The very small and exceptional cuvée was dedicated to Madame, the proprietor’s wife.

Our family continues this tradition for the finest harvests. Under our care, the superb Cuvée Madame was made in 1981, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1995, to succeed the memorable 1943, 1947, 1959, 1971 and 1975 vintages.

The average age of the vines used to produce the Cuvée Madame is 40 years and originate from the property’s two oldest parcels.

A painstaking selection, each grape is picked one-by-one by hand. Further sorting takes place at the wine press and damaged grapes are eliminated immediately. The unfermented grape juice is quite rich, with 22 to 24 degrees of potential alcohol. A single, light pressing (at less than 180 kg/cm2) produces a clear, limpid juice. Alcohol fermentation takes place in new oak barrels. The large amount of natural sugar forces the yeast to work slowly and develop secondary aromas that will contribute to the wine’s complexity. Once this hard work is done, the wine is aged in barrels for three years before bottling.

In the years that we are very lucky to produce this “reserve” we make one to two barrels worth of wine…The latest vintage that is available currently on the market (thus available via “La Place de Bordeaux”) is the 1995. Keep in mind that production is limit and gaining access to bottles is – a challenge. From my searches, I know that there are a number of US sites that have 86 and 89 available at very very reasonable prices. (Am I allowed to share these sites? Well, check out…That’s where I found the sites myself).

Which vintage is next is always a secret – well kept by our cellar master. As for when the next vintage will be released – you are not going to like this answer either: only time will tell :slight_smile:. However, I am in the position to tell you all that the next vintage you should be looking for to add to your cellar is the 1997.

Have a good one,


I have enjoyed Cuvee Madame but once in my lifetime, believe it was the 1975 vintage, and I had this wine on a steamy June evening in Miami Beach, FL. Extraordinary sweet wine that had an incredible lightness but with great strength of flavor. We had this with a summer citrus salad to begin a multi-course meal and Cuvee Madame was not approached by the other wines served, none of which were pedestrian bottles.

BTW, the 1975 Coutet is a wine I have had many times and it is tremendous Barsac.

I just picked one of these up. It’s my birthyear and am very excited to try it

Oops – looks like my first attempt at replying got lost in an internet shuffle.

@Glenn: I’ve heard so many great things in regards to the '75. I’ve never had the opportunity to taste the Cuvee Madame '75 myself – so I am very jealous!

May I ask if the '75 has a special significance for your and your wife? Are there are other Coutet vintages that you are big fan of?

And now someone is going to ask me about my favorite vintages…an unfair questions – it’s like having to pick between your children! So I will say that I have a special spot for the following:
'76: first vintage that my grand-father bottled (I can’t help but be attached to a vintage due to a memory - I am way too emotional of a taster!)
'97 (but I also really like the '96 because it is very subtle - don’t discount vintages that didn’t get a lot of press attention)
'01: DECANT to enjoy today and go directly to heaven; this one has power but such finesse
'07: How can I not like the 07? No one is going to stay it was smooth sailing pre-harvest, but nature took its course – the right course indeed (plus that was the year I spent exploring Bordeaux as a newcomer and intern up in the Medoc)
'08: My first vintage at Coutet as my uncle’s partner in crime
'09: My second vintage at Coutet
'10: My third vintage at Coutet

Funny how I am unable to pick a favorite amongst the ones I saw come to life…

Aline - I had the 86 on a number of occasions and enjoyed that wine but it doesn’t quite strike the same note as the 1975 or 1976. I just had the 1990 and it needs another decade or so to really get righteous IMO. I don’t know that I have ever had a 1983 Coutet but I really like that special vintage in Sauternes. I have not had the 2001 but assuredly will if i can stay on this side of the dirt another decade or two!

I got to have the 1975 a bunch because I had a wine shop buddy sell me a case in the early 1990s. I last served this wine @ the end of a big BBQ here in CA with pineapple cake it it was a big hit.

Pineapple cake noted… Great idea for the online cookbook!

Thanks for the response, I will look forward to it when it is released…