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Chateau Rieussec Sauternes (375ML Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 83% Semillon, 12% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle

Critical Acclaim

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JS 97
James Suckling
So much botrytis on the nose with spice, dried mushrooms and nutmeg. Dried lemons and mangoes. Full-bodied and medium sweet with density and, at the same time, lightness. I like that it is full of botrytis on the palate at the beginning and then turns fruity and very pretty at the end with citrus and fruit. Balanced, creamy and rich. Try after 2024, but already gorgeous.
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Made by the Lafite-Rothschild team, this is a powerfully dense wine. It has intense botrytis and fine acidity, as well as sumptuous ripe marmalade and apricot flavors. This is certainly for long-term aging.
Barrel Sample: 95–97 Points
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
A step up over the Carmes de Rieussec, the beautiful 2016 Château Rieussec has remarkable purity and freshness while still packing beautiful depth of fruit. Honeyed peach, apricot, flower oil, and even a hint of wet stone all emerge from this full-bodied, thick, opulent effort. I love it. It has a rounded, sexy style ideal for drinking any time over the coming 15-20 years. The 2016 is a final blend of 83% Sémillon, 12% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Muscadelle.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A barrel sample blended of 83% Sémillon, 12% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Muscadelle, the 2016 Rieussec is pale to medium lemon colored with a touch of gold. The nose features intense honeycomb, mandarin peel, candied ginger and lemongrass scents with wafts of allspice and musk perfume. The palate is very rich, full and opulent with tons of spicy layers and a lively line to lift the densely packed fruit to a long finish.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
D 96
Decanter
A great Sauternes with a wonderful brightness and freshness, this gathers speed through the palate, developing flavours of cinnamon, caramel, white pepper, clove and smoked pineapple, all wrapped in an extremely silky texture. It's still in barrel, and will be for another few months. Around 50% new oak.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Quite fresh, with acacia and honeysuckle notes out front, followed by a stream of mirabelle plum, yellow apple, pineapple and white peach flavors. Offers an unctuous feel on the finish while staying on the brighter side. Among the top efforts in the vintage. Best from 2022 through 2035. 500 cases made.
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Chateau Rieussec

Chateau Rieussec

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Chateau Rieussec, France - Bordeaux
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For several generations, Château Rieussec has been the leading name in Sauternes wines. As early as 1868, Charles Cocks remarked “Beyond any of the others, Rieussec produces wines very similar to Yquem wines”. Extensive pruning and the sparing use of natural fertilizer helps keep production low. The techniques remain traditional and specific to the Sauternes region. In terms of yields, the traditional reference is that a single vine should produce a bottle of wine. Here, though, a single vine produces about a glass of wine. Traditional fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats and can last as long as two months. The wine is aged for 16 to 26 months in oak barrels, produced mostly at Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) cooperage and half are renewed each year. 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.

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Sauternes

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Sweet and unctuous but delightfully charming, the finest Sauternes typically express flavors of exotic dried tropical fruit, candied apricot, dried citrus peel, honey or ginger and a zesty beam of acidity.

Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle are the grapes of Sauternes. But Sémillon's susceptibility to the requisite noble rot makes it the main variety and contributor to what makes Sauternes so unique. As a result, most Sauternes estates are planted to about 80% Sémillon. Sauvignon is prized for its balancing acidity and Muscadelle adds aromatic complexity to the blend with Sémillon.

Botrytis cinerea or “noble rot” is a fungus that grows on grapes only in specific conditions and its onset is crucial to the development of the most stunning of sweet wines.

In the fall, evening mists develop along the Garonne River, and settle into the small Sauternes district, creeping into the vineyards and sitting low until late morning. The next day, the sun has a chance to burn the moisture away, drying the grapes and concentrating their sugars and phenolic qualities. What distinguishes a fine Sauternes from a normal one is the producer’s willingness to wait and tend to the delicate botrytis-infected grapes through the end of the season.

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Other Dessert

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Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.

Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.

Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.

Rutherglen is an historic wine region in northeast Victoria, Australia, famous for its fortified Topaque and Muscat with complex tawny characteristics.

BTYF202540_2016 Item# 202540