Architecturally-speaking, the château dates from several different periods, mostly the 16th to 18th centuries. The square tower in the main courtyard goes back to the late 13th century. In fact, Château Coutet is one of the oldest wine estates in Bordeaux. The archives show that in 1643 it belonged to Charles Le Guerin and was later sold to the de Lur Saluces family of Yquem and Fargues, to whom it belonged until 1922. Louis Guy Mital, a winepress manufacturer from Lyon went on it acquire the estate. It passed into the hands of Marcel Baly in 1977. He undertook an in-depth renovation of the vineyard, cellars, and other buildings.
Coutet's vines grow in a single block on red clay soil with limestone outcrops. Certain plots feature windblown sand deposits on limestone. The largely clay soil is cold and has a naturally high acidity. Therefore, grapes tend to ripen fairly late. Viticulture is meticulous and no herbicides or pesticides are used. The botrytized grapes are harvested by 80 experienced pickers, who go over the crop from 5 to 7 times depending on the vintage. The harvest lasts an average of one month. The grapes are put into small crates, carefully sorted, and delicately pressed in a pneumatic winepress. The juice is cold settled for 24 hours and then fermented in new barrels, using only indigenous yeast. The wine is aged in 39 separate lots for 18 months, with periodic racking and topping up (the barrels are filled to the very top to fill the air space created by evaporation) every 10 days. The final blend is made at the end of barrel ageing, before bottling.
Coutet is naturally refreshing and remarkably intense. When young, it has a bouquet of orange blossom, honey, and vanilla. Candied fruit and spicy aromas emerge with age. In outstanding years, the estate produces about 1,500 bottles of a special cuvée made from plots with a high clay content and vines over 40 years old. This exceedingly rare wine, called Cuvée Madame, is aged for a full three years in barrel. It is a unique, complex wine that has been produced in the following vintages: 2003, 2001, 1997, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1986, 1981, 1975, and 1971.
Château Coutet has had an uninterrupted string of successes from 2001.
This very classic Barsac is a delight for people who love complex, well-balanced sweet wines.
1997 Coutet and 1995 Coutet, as well as the trilogy 1990 Coutet, 1989 Coutet, and 1988 Coutet remain a true delight. Château Coutet has clearly progressed in the past 10 years, and fully justifies interest from even the most demanding of wine lovers.
The perfection of Cuvée Madame is practically unequalled among great French sweet white wines.
Château Coutet, Coutet Cuvée Madame (only in exceptional vintages), Chartreuse de Château Coutet (second wine), Coutet dry white