The Château Coutet is a french estate located in Barsac. The vineyards has 38ha of vines and the grape variety are Sémillion, Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle. The Château Coutet is a premier cru classé of Sauternes in Classification of Sauternes wines in 1855.
As at the Chateau d'Yquem, the old vertical presses are still in service and must, after settling, is fermented in oak barrels. Château Coutet produces nectar of exceptional longevity. Editor Marcel Baly since 1977, the wine has won rich liquid, while retaining its freshness and grace.
Château Coutet was originally a fortress in the 13th century, with traces of its medieval construction still visible today.
The winegrowing history of Château Coutet began in 1643, when Charles Le Guérin, known as Seigneur de Coutet, made it one of the first vineyards in the Sauternes appellation. The estate was passed down to his descendants until 1788. Gabriel-Barthélemy Romain de Filhot took over ownership of Coutet on the eve of the French Revolution. After this tumultuous period, the estate reverted to his grandson, the Marquis Romain-Bertrand de Lur-Saluces, who became the world's leading producer of sweet white wines. At the time, he also owned Châteaux d'Yquem, de Fargues, Filhot and de Malle. Château Coutet remained his property until 1926.
In 1926, Henry-Louis Guy, an industrialist from Lyon, became the new owner of Château Coutet. He installed the famous and unrivalled Guy & Mital hydraulic presses, one of the secrets behind the extraction of the estate's finest juices. His daughter, who remarried Edmond Rolland, ran the estate until 1977, and it was in her honor that an exceptional cuvée was produced, named "Cuvée Madame".
In 1977, Marcel Baly and his two sons, Philippe and Dominique, became owners of Château Coutet. Originally from Alsace, the family divided their time between France and the United States. This period marked the beginning of a renewal of the vineyard and farm buildings. In 1994, wishing to bring greater expertise to Château Coutet, they signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Société Baron Philippe de Rothschild, on both technical and commercial levels.
Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States of America, spent many years in France. He was ambassador from 1785 to 1789. A fine gourmet, he also worked as a wine broker, writing travel diaries of the great French wine regions. He celebrated Château Coutet as "the best Sauternes in Barsac".
The vineyard covers a total area of 38.5 hectares, and the vines are on average 38 years old. Château Coutet's grape varieties are composed of Semillon (75%), Sauvignon Blanc (23%) and Muscadelle (2%).
The soil at Château Coutet is composed of reddish clay. Fine gravel, deposited by the Garonne or, depending on the plot, sand blown in by the wind, rests on a limestone subsoil. The proximity of a small river, the Ciron, provides Château Coutet with the autumn fog necessary for the development of the Botrytis cinerea fungus. This fungus promotes the progressive concentration of sugars in the berries, known as noble rot.
The grapes at Château Coutet are harvested by hand, in several passes, as each bunch does not reach over-ripeness at the same time. The wine is matured for a year and a half in cellars offering constant, clement temperature conditions.
The Château's best wines are Coutet 1929, 1947 and 1949. For a tasting, we recommend the Château Coutet 1959 and 1961, or the sumptuous Château Coutet 1975. Finally, the 1990, 2000 and 2005 vintages of Château Coutet are remarkable.
The marriage between foie gras and Château Coutet wines is recognized by all gourmets. As for cheeses, the combination of the two "noble rots" penicilium roqueforti from Roquefort and botrytis from Sauternes is also an excellent choice, as are pressed cooked cheeses such as Comté (24 months maturing). Finally, fruit-based desserts also go well with Château Coutet's sweet wines.