- Château Rieussec
- Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc/ Muscadelle
- 2015 - 2037
- Case size
Goedhuis, August 2016
Rieussec is one of the finest properties in Sauternes, neighbouring Yquem. Owned by Domaines Baron de Rothschild (of Lafite), this château’s Sémillon-dominated wines are rich and honeyed. This 2011 is all juicy mango, papaya, and tangerine marmalade, with overtones of baked quince and apple-filled pastries. Quite marvellous. The palate is light-footed and clean. This is everything we love about Sauternes – not at all cloying, it is well poised, and hugely enjoyable.
Neal Martin, April 2012,
The 2011 Rieussec has a lifted, at the moment quite oaky, bouquet with scents of honey, almond and pineapple. Hopefully it will develop more definition by the time of bottling. The palate is medium-bodied with tropical fruit and mandarin on the entry and a satisfying viscous core of honeyed fruit. It seems a little disjointed towards the finish, although I am sure it will become more cohesive by the time of bottling. For me, it just seems a little predictable. Drink 2015-2028+
James Suckling, April 2012,
This is a fabulous Sauternes with dried peaches, pineapples and mango. Apricots and hints of spices. Even jam. Full-bodied, medium sweet with intense and powerful palate. This wine has 147 grams of residual sugar. So balanced and long. We will see what is better -- Rieussec or Yquem?
Decanter, April 2012,
Departing from its usual unctuous style, this vintage displays great purity and lifted, elegant flavours. Great concentration of flavours and amazing complexity. Exotic fruits and floral notes are typical of Rieussec. A precise, detailed wine with a long finish. Drink 2021-2047. (5 stars).
Jancis Robinson, April 2012,
RS 147 g/l, TA 3.9 g/l, pH 3.79. Mid gold, linseed and grapefruit mixed and a fine line of orange through the middle. Rich, golden and almost syrupy on the palate. A little sour and oily on the finish and so rich the acidity is hard to spot except that the whole is in balance. Spicy aftertaste and very long. Drink 2019-2032
Wine Spectator, April 2012,
A very ripe, juicy, spicy style, with bold apricot, tangerine, toasted almond and papaya notes. Shows lots of power, with the length to match. A winner in the making.
Rieussec's 90 hectares of vineyard occupy one of the highest points in the Sauternes after those of neighbouring Yquem. Unusually the vineyard is one unit, and not made up of several parcels like most Bordeaux properties.The good work started by Albert Vuillier (more oak, and increased passes picking more developed grapes) in the 1970's has been continued by the current owners - Domaines Baron de Rothschild (of Lafite) - who rebuilt the chai in 1989. Vines are on average 25 years old, with Plantings predominantly Semillon (92%) with a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc (5%) and Muscadelle (3%). If the year is judged too poor as in 1993, the grand vin is not made at all. Bottlings under the name Clos Labère are also produced. The deeply coloured wine has a rich, honeyed style, which exhibits great precision and tremendous persistance.
It is not an exaggeration to say that these are the greatest sweet wines in the world. They are the result of a serendipitous marriage of grape variety, location, annual weather conditions and human care and determination. The vineyards are located on the banks of the cool spring-fed Ciron river which, in autumn, flows into the warmer tidal Garonne and creates rolling evening mists which clothe the vines until the afternoon sun burns them off the following day. This cycle creates perfect conditions for the development of botrytis cinerea or noble rot, and the resulting grape juice is a super concentrated sweet, ambrosial nectar which makes the most heavenly and complex wines with extraordinary ability to age. In 1855 the wines were classified into first and second growths, with Ch d'Yquem rightly receivingits own super status of premier grand cru. Other stunning wines include Chx Sudiraut, Rieussec, Coutet and Climens. While seductively fragrant and sweet when young, if you can bear to wait, you will be amply rewarded with lusciously rich, exotically complex wine.