In 1787, former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, then ambassador to France, celebrated Château Coutet (pronounced Cootay or COU-tett) as the best Sauternes from Barsac. In 1855, the estate was classified as a First Growth and recognized for its continued excellence. Today, as the oldest and largest Barsac estate, Château Coutet stays true to its tradition of distinction and quality. The finest Barsac-Sauternes is produced annually under the direction and management of the Baly family as well as the technical and commercial collaboration of the Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A. company, the vineyard's exclusive distributor.
An English fortress built in the 13th Century, this citadel with its square tower, a design typical of the era’s military constructions, became a wine producing estate in 1643. Previously owned by the Lur-Saluces family, the property was home to Chateau d’Yquem’s horse stables, transformed in the late 19th Century into a 110-meter long cellar (the longest in the appellation). A second round tower in the property’s northern plot, a Château Coutet landmark, was built originally to breed pigeons and peacocks for the region’s Gascon lords. Vertical wine presses from the 1920s, a 14th Century chapel and a Bordeaux cobblestone courtyard are a testament to the estate’s rich architectural and regional history.
Château Coutet benefits from an exceptional terroir. The vines' deep roots extract elements from a limestone and clay-based soil, giving the grapes freshness, richness and strength. For this reason the wine carries the name "Coutet,” derived from the Gascon's word for knife, to signify the fresh, lively and crisp palate that is the estate's signature style. In their youth, the property's wines display generous notes of white flowers, citrus fruits, honey and vanilla. Time brings out deeper, warmer notes in which spices combine with exotic nectars and candied fruits. Age also enhances the harmony of its roasted Botrytis character and its distinct aromas to give Château Coutet a delicate and unique bouquet that is unsurpassed.
Botrytis cinerea is a fungus that concentrates the sugars in each grape via a multi-step interaction with the fruit. The result is a sweet nectar that is rich in distinct aromas such as honeysuckle, quince and ginger. This gift of nature is referred to as “Noble Rot” as it is the precursor to a great Barsac-Sauternes. The region's unique microclimate supports the Noble Rot's presence and development due to the morning mists followed by warm, sunny afternoons that enable the mold to develop abundantly.