The 2015 Rayne-Vigneau has a more understated bouquet this year - biding its time, a little timid at first, but opening to offer white flower and acacia scents that are well defined. The palate is fresh and crisp with good mineralité and tension. This saves the fireworks for the end with real race and class, that spicy finish lingering long in the mouth. This has great potential. 93-95 points, Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com
"Very interesting herbal, licorice and candied-lemon nose makes this stand out of the pack. Quite sweet but also very juicy. The finish is long and clean with mineral freshness. Drink or hold." 93 Points, James Suckling
Sauternes is home to arguably the most prestigious and long-lived sweet wines in the world. Located 65 km south of the city of Bordeaux at the southern tip of the Graves, the appellation has 2100 ha of vineyards planted on flat, alluvial gravels overlying thick layers of limestone. Although viewed as one appellation, Sauternes actually consists of five communes; Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignanc, and Sauternes with Barsac also a designated appellation in its own right. What makes Sauternes unique is its special mesoclimate caused by the confluence of the Ciron and the Garonne rivers.
The region experiences evening mists in autumn which set in until late morning and are subsequently burnt off by warm sunny afternoons. It is precisely these conditions that provide the ideal environment for the growth of botrytis cinerea – a fungus that attacks the grapes, causing them to dehydrate leaving sweet shrivelled fruit, ideal for sweet wine production. Sauternes wines are made predominantly from Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc with small amounts of Muscadelle. Golden in colour with enticing aromas and flavours of honey, acacia, stone-fruit, candied citrus and marmalade, classic Sauternes is rich, unctuous and beautifully balanced by fresh acidity. Capable of long-ageing, the wines turn deep amber with age, taking on more tertiary caramel flavours over time.