The capsule was intact, fill level good, firm cork, and there was no trouble opening the bottle. The cork initially smelled like ancient, wet wood, then dried out to echo the wine’s aromas. The wine poured like honey, caramel gold in the glass. At first it really had no aroma. It tasted of dates and prunes, with plenty of acidity. It was typically developed for a Sauterne, even a touch woody, almost maderized. An hour later, aromas were more prevalent and the wine was still rich, finishing with dried apricot flavors. With food—haricots verts with shallots—it matches like an older Riesling. It tasted sweeter against a fairly plain, sautéed shrimp dish. Still later, as flavors lightened toward the front palate, the finish lengthened. The next morning, I tasted the bit I preserved in the bottom of a glass, and the wine remained just as vibrant. Unfortunately (sigh!) a small swallow is all that’s left. Enough for breakfast, I guess. Highly Recommended.

WHO: Château Filhot (375 ml)
WHAT: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
WHERE: Sauternes, France
WHEN: 1983
HOW MUCH: $39

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About The Author

Becky Sue Epstein
International Editor

Becky Sue Epstein is Palate Press’s International Editor. An experienced writer, editor, broadcaster, and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food, and travel, her work appears in many national publications including Art & Antiques, Luxury Golf & Travel, Food + Wine, and Wine Spectator. She began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in film and television.