Aline Baly, Chateau Coutet, Sauternes-Barsac Premier Grand Cru Classé, Bordeaux.
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.
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.