Appellation Barsac Controlée
Chateau Coutet is located in the Barsac region in the southern
part of Bordeaux.
Bordeaux is a famous wine producing region in Southwestern France.
Total estate 38.5 hectares (95+ acres). This size makes Chateau
Coutet one of the larger estates in the region. Normal annual production
is approximately 5,800 cases per year.
Premier Cru 'First Growth' In the Sauternes
and Barsac Classification of 1855.
The 95 acres of vineyards at Chateau Coutet are planted primarily
(75%) as is common for the area. The remainder of the Chateau Coutet
vineyards are planted with 23% of Sauvignon
Blanc and 2% of Muscadelle.
The Muscadelle is used like a pleasant spice. The average age of
the vines is 35 years.
Semillon grape when grown in the Barsac region, usually develops
'Noble Rot' (Botrytis Cinera) on the berries as harvest approaches.
This mold does not ruin the grape but instead causes the loss of
much of the water content in the berry. The result is a raisin-like
berry with extreme concentration of the natural sugars and flavors.
The loss of the water in the grape means that the yeild of wine
is amazingly small.
Chateau Coutet is one of the oldest estates in Barsac and dates
back at least to the 13th century. The name comes from a word for
'knife'. The estate acted as a military center in the 100 Years
war. In 1788, Gabriel Barthélémy Romain de Fihot became
owner of Coutet. The property was owned by the Filhot family until
the French Revolution. Marcel Baly has owned Chateau Coutet since
1977. The Chateau is under the direction of Marcel Baly's sons,
Philippe and Domenica Baly.
The wines at Chateau Coutet are fermented in oak barrels (of which
about 1/3 are new each year). After fermentation, which ends within
six weeks, the wines age in oak barrels for about 18 months.
The fine wines from Chateau Coutet are concentrated and sweet with
high levels of acidity to balance out the sweetness. While the wines
are delicious when young, the true nature of an excellent Barsac
like Chateau Coutet is only shown when the wines have many years
of bottle age. These wines gain complexity and a lushness after
a good vintage is stored for a decade or so. Coutet is especially
known for the complex aromas it develops. It is important that storage
conditions be proper for the life of the wine.
Coutet is known for producing a very elegant and stylish dessert
wine. It is rich and full bodied and has the aromas and flavors
of stone fruits like peaches when young. The flavors of the young
wine develop into a complex fabric of vanilla, honey and cinnamon
after years of age. Recent vintages have shown very strong results.
A classic match is to serve Chateau Coutet with Fois Gras. Other
pairings would be to serve as a dessert along with dishes that feature
apricots, pears or peaches.