Last week I was invited to the “Panorama” Tasting of the on line store Millesima.com on Sauternes and Barsac. I was privileged enough to taste château d’Yquem 1998, 2002 and 2005, Château Climens 1998, Château Rieussec 1997, Château Rabaud-Promis 1997, Château Coutet 1998 and 2004, château de Fargues 1996 and 1997. Many others were presentend but I was not able to taste all of them. Useless to say, those wines were gorgeous and it was a delight to go through the beautiful chais of Millesima, talking to wine makers and other passionate wine lovers while tasting those classics.
Of course, as you well know, I’m not an enologist and will not disgrace myself by writing tasting notes (Suffice to say they were wonderful). But I must say that among those jewels of Sauternes and Barsac, I found two pearls I never heard about: Château Liot and Château de Myrat (no site). Both wines were amazing and I started digging around trying to understand why they do not shine as much as they should. The case of Château de Myrat is rather puzzling. The estate belongs to the Pontac family – the very same Pontac family that created the notion of “cru” in the Bordelais and the very first brand, Haut-Brion, in the 17th century. Indeed the Pontac family owned Château Haut-Brion until the middle of the 17th century and its descendants now owns Château de Myrat. Why didn’t they apply the same strategy as their ancestors to brand their delicious wine? Of course, times changed but branding has now a lot more tools at its disposal than three centuries ago. Château Liot is a more discreet estate, located in the Barsac appellation – of course, less famous than the Sauternes – and belongs to the David family.
It is really too bad for two great brands not to get the proper attention. It would be so easy to have a good web site in French and English and try to use some of the new tools. Their wines deserve better communication.