Cape Heritage, Sweets, Fortifieds and Spirits

Timed Online Auction, 7 - 14 August 2023

Cape Heritage

Sold for

ZAR 5 863
Lot 66
  • La Tour Blanche; Sauternes; 1990, 2001, 2003; 3 (1 x 3); 750ml

Lot Estimate
ZAR 6 000 - 9 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 5 863

About this Item

Sauternes, 1990, 2001, 2003
3 (1 x 3) 750ml

Château La Tour Blanche is a French wine estate in the Bommes commune of the Sauternes appellation. The estate was listed as a Premier Cru in the official 1855 Classification of Sauternes and Barsac. Although dating back to the 17th Century, the property was bequeathed to the French state in 1909 and is currently overseen by the administrative branch of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region.
The château building itself was constructed in the 17th Century by a Monsieur de Saint-Marc and received classification as a First Growth under the guidance of German proprietor, Friedrick Focke, in 1855. The estate was subsequently taken over by Daniel Iffla, who often went by the pseudonym "Osiris". Iffla died in 1907 and although he had bequeathed the property to the state (on the condition that a wine school was established on the site), the handover was not formally completed until 1911. It has remained both in national ownership and housed the local faculty of oenology since.

Critics Ratings

‘The 1990 is less aromatic, but richer and fuller-bodied than the 1988 La Tour Blanche. It has not lost any of its elegant, honeyed, botrytised style. Interestingly, at bottling the 1988 contained 13.5% alcohol and the 1990, 13.2%. The 1990 comes across as fat and rich, a classic Sauternes that remains under priced given the resurgence of this well-known estate. It will keep for three decades or more.’ – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92/100 (Nov 1994)

‘Pungently botrytized aromas feature game, honey, marmalade, clove oil, charred oak and a whiff of herbs. Very concentrated and very young; the wine impressively thick texture is leavened by lively acidity and tangy botrytis tones. The honey, mint, mineral, and fresh herbal flavors harmonize beautifully. Very long, smoky-oaky aftertaste. The best of these three vintages by a clear margin. Finished with lower alcohol (13.2%) and higher sugar (72 g/l) than either the '89 or '88.’ – Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, 92/100 (Jul 1998)

‘The La Tour Blanche 2001 has long been the “insiders’ Sauternes” for the vintage. Leave the Yquem ’01 for the millionaires: load up on one of the finest recent vintages from the estate. It has a potent honeyed, frangipane and white flower-scented bouquet with subtle nougat scents in the background lending it an exotic edge. The palate is extremely well balanced with fine acidity effortlessly slicing a swathe through that unctuous, honeyed fruit. There are also understated marmalade notes with a suggestion of crème brûlée furnishing the weighty finish that goes on and on.’ – Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 96/100 (Oct 2014)

‘The 2001 La Tour Blanche has a finely knit bouquet of yellow flowers mixed with wild honey, acacia and white peach. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity and almost unctuous in the mouth, showing what feels like more residual sugar than its peers. Voluminous and mouth-filling on the finish but missing the tension that would take it up a level. Still, this is a hedonistic delight.’ – Neal Martin, Vinous, 94/100 (Jun 2021)

‘Mid orange gold. A bit relaxed and sweet and lacking tension. Very rich indeed with a burnt edge but I’d like a little more acidity and structure.’ – Jancis Robinson MW,, 17/20 (Mar 2011)

‘Enticing bright yellow-gold color. Subdued but very pure aromas of orange peel, apricot, honey and spices. Super sweet, fat and spicy; wonderfully round, chewy and unctuous. As thick and '03-like as this is, it remains fresh and lively. Not the last word in complexity but this fine-grained wine is delicious already, and finishes with superb, palate-staining persistence.’ – Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, 93/100 (Jul 2006)

‘The La Tour Blanche ‘03 offers yellow flowers, melted candle wax and honey on the nose with Muscat-like aromas developing in the glass. The palate is well-balanced on the entry with lemon curd and honey notes, though it needs just a little more acidity to give it tension and freshness. The finish is quite linear, springs no surprises, and just drifts a little when you seek more tautness and race. Still, this is a pleasurable, if not profound La Tour Blanche. Drink now-2020+’ – Neal Martin, Vinous, 92/100 (Apr 2013)

‘So big and round and unctuous. Yet saved by its structure. Beginning, middle and end with a toastiness. Undertow. Great stuff. Enjoy it while you may!’ – Jancis Robinson MW,, 18/20 (Sep 2010)


Private Client

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