The wines of Saussignac are sweet, are made mostly from Sémillon, and are similar to those of Sauternes. Only recently have these wines begun to become popular, and the quality of recent vintages indicates that this appellation could quickly become one of the top sweet wine regions of the Southwest. The wines are rich, thick, powerful dessert styles.
Saussignac AOC was formed in 1982. In recent years the region's potential has begun to be explored, although the low number of Saussignacs shipped out of France still leaves something to be desired.
Climate and Viticulture
Saussignac has a warm, Mediterranean climate. The grapes are infected by noble rot (Botrytis cinerea), and then made into dessert wines similar to those of Sauternes. The soil is mostly made up of clay.
The standard Sauternes grapes are used here. Sémillon makes up the majority of the wines, and gives them their rich, yeasty flavors, while Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle are complementary varieties. Local grape Ondenc and international grape Chenin Blanc can be used, but neither is too popular. Rich, toasty, and often quite round and balanced, these sweet white wines are able to age for 10-20 years.
Unfortunately, this appellation is still too little-known to attract the interest of many importers, so it is very hard to find these wines outside France. However, this may change soon, as quality in the region is on the up and up.