Forty kilometres south of Bordeaux, Sauternes is an AOC that includes together 5 communes, including Barsac. For centuries, humans have been patiently learning to master this region's climate, soils and grape varieties. But Mother Nature did a good job laying the foundation. The Sauternes terroir is distinguished by a geological predisposition to gravel and pebbles that cover limestone streaked with veins of clay. In the communes of Fargues and Sauternes, a layer of hardpan (iron-oxide cemented sand) in which vines flourish can be found. The vineyards at the highest elevations and farthest from the river have the best terroirs and produce the majority of the Crus Classés,including the monumental Château Yquem.Sauternes wines are made from Sémillon (80%of vines planted) and Sauvignon (15%) grapes. A bit of Muscadelle occasionally is used to give the wines an untamed touch. Sauternes have an "aged gold" colour that is denser and darker than other dessert wines. When they age, they develop a stunning amber colour. The nose has aromas of flowers and fruit that melt together to create a bouquet of remarkable complexity and balance. The primary aromas include almond, quince, mango,pineapple, stewed peach, dried apricot and passion fruit. There are also floral notes, with touches of linden, acacia, mimosaand honeysuckle. And as is typical with Sémillon, there are also notes of beeswax, almond and hazelnut. In the mouth, Sauternes wines have a powerful style that is viscous but extremely elegant. Its strong sweetness is captivating. Finally, its aromatic finish is something that simply must be experienced.