Sauvignon Blanc Blend * 75cl * 14% ABV * Cadillac, France
Château la Bertrande is in the district of Cadillac, just South East of Sauternes and its sweet wine, Summum, was traditionally regarded as a poor relation of its more famous neighbour. Summum has done much to change this reputation: particularly impressive when you know that only 1,500 bottles of this incomparable wine can be made every year. The harvesting is done by hand with only single grapes (not bunches) being picked to ensure maximum ripeness. This can mean that the same row of vines has to be harvested between 5 and 7 times!
The resulting wine is a sumptuously flavoured, intense revelation of rich orange, honey and marzipan flavours. We drink it with blue cheese and desserts but with France it is used as an aperitif.
Summum 2001 has a particular claim to fame: In a very serious tasting of Bordeaux sweet whites by the French sommelier’s association, Fleurus, Summum came top. This was all the more remarkable as 2001 was not only a great vintage for Botrytis (the ‘Noble Rot’ that encourages sweetness) but it beat the legendary Château d'Yquem. Yquem 2001 was awarded 100 points by Robert Parker and costs £5,500 - £6,000 a case! Within France this was seen as so extraordinary that it even made the national press both the Figaro and Metro reporting that Yquem had been humbled by an appellation “As lowly as Cadillac.”