Chateau Guiraud

The Botrytis


The noble rot (botrytis cinerea) allows the creation of Sauternes. At Guiraud, we are not looking for a perfectly ripped grape but we are looking for its concentration, its sublimation made by a microscopic fungus: the « noble rot* » or botrytis cinerea.

In September when the berries are fully ripe, nights are getting fresher, the morning dew and mist abound. All those elements contribute to the development of the fungus. The goldish grape turns violet; its skin gets weaker and weaker allowing the evaporation of water present in the grape. This is the crucial moment, where everything is on gamble.

The weakness of the fruit makes us fear the smallest rainfall. Risk is the price to pay in Sauternes, but without it great wine would not exist.

Now the flavours are starting to concentrate. Day after day the morning dew and the afternoon sun concentrate the range of aromas of the grape which produce a Sauternes wine with an exquisite taste. The fungus brings a sweet flavour to the wine and a great pallet of flattering aromas such as : black tea, white pepper, saffron, candied fruit, sandalwood,...all coming from this microscopic fungus, mysterious alchemist of our « terroir » (grape varieties).

In mouth, the concentration gives a tannic impression, mucous membranes clench under the tannins and sourness effects and then smooth with the wine's liquor.

From a rotten grape flows a pallet of complex perfumes and feelings. And so are the greatest Guiraud wines brought to birth: complex, rich, always fresh but never heavy, incredible wines fruit of an amazing work but also hazardous fruit of the sun, the dew and the wind.


Noble rot :

a rot caused by the botrytis whenever this very fungus grows in specific weather conditions (morning mists, sunny afternoons) and on ripe and healthy berries. This rot brings sugar and flavour to the grapes.

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