Chateau Rieussec Sauternes (6 Liter) 2005
Other Dessert from Sauternes and Barsac, Bordeaux, France
The 2001 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2004
2005 was marked by drought. Only 127 mm of rain fell during the winter, and following a month of April with some more rain (129 mm), the dry weather began again at the end of May. The summer was first very hot in June and July, then cooler in August and September, which allowed slow ripening and good balance between body and freshness.
Beautiful intense golden color. Pleasantly fresh, showing jammy notes and candied fruit (apricots, figs). Round and smooth on the palate, with candied notes and a long finish.
Wine Spectator - "Shows enticing aromas of toffee, cream, dried apricot and caramel. Full-bodied, very sweet and thick, with honey and caramel flavors. Long and rich, oozing with sweet, ripe fruit, this is like liquid candy. Best after 2016."
International Wine Cellar - "Full yellow-gold. Expressive aromas of pineapple, coconut, sweet vanillin oak and spices. Then wonderfully thick, fat and sweet, with the exotic coconut character carrying through in the mouth. Finishes saline and powerful, with palate-staining flavors of pineapple, coconut and spicy oak. Conveys a strong impression of solidity."
Chateau Rieussec Winery
Classified "Premier Grand Cru" in 1855, Rieussec has held its reputation and the quality of its wine, throughout the difficult years which Sauternes properties have been through. Albert Vuillier, who took over in 1971, has paid special attention to the development of the vineyard and pushed the standard of the wines produced to the highest level. This policy has paid dividends, since in recent years, Rieussec has received particular acclaim in numerous tastings of the "Premier Cru" of Sauternes. In 1985, wishing to consolidate Rieussec's position, Albert Vuillier entered into partnership with Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) to go even further in the elusive search for the perfect Sauternes. View all Chateau Rieussec Wines
About Sauternes and BarsacView a map of Sauternes and Barsac wineries (saw-TURN & BAR-sak)
The regions of Sauternes & Barsac are both located southeast of Graves, almost directly south of St-Émilion, and hug the Garonne River as it curves. Both areas are dedicated to producing sweet, white wines. The rains, the mists, the humidity and the climate, all help foster the necessary mold that leads to the unfortified, but lusciously sweet wines produced there.
Semillon is the primary grape here as it takes well to bortrytis, also known as "noble rot." Sauvignon Blanc is used in the blend to add acidity to the richer, thicker Semillon. The process for making the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac is long, labored and costly. Adter it has reached maximum ripeness, the Semillon grapes are left on the vine until they are infected with botrytis. This helpful mold then shrivels the grapes, concentrating the sugars but maintaining the acids. Weather is not always agreeable and berries must be picked at just the right moment, all by hand. The grapes yeild less juice than dry wines, due to their shriveled and concentrated state. Some houses, like the famed Chateau Yquem, will not make a wine in a less-than-perfect year. All these factors lead to highly prized, and often expensive, wine. However, the taste is well worth it. In the palate the wines of Sauternes & Barsac are luscious and sweet, yet with the balanced acidity to keep them from being too cloying or candied.Wines with the Sauternes AC must be sweet - dry wines are labeled under the Graves or Bordeaux AC. Barsac wines may be labeled either Barsac AC or Sauternes AC. Typically, Barsac wines are a little lighter in body and less intense than Sauternes.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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