87-89/100 Andrew Caillard MW. Medium pale colour. Lemon curd/ marmalade/ honey aromas. Well concentrated honey/ lemon curd/ lime flavours, fine cutting acidity, herb garden notes, quite tangy. Finishes chalky and hard.
93-95/100 Neal Martin, erobertparker.com The Rayne-Vigneau has a seductive nose with tropical fruit, vanilla and coconut aromas that seek to entrance from first acquaintance. At the moment, the oak is noticeable but it should assimilate by the time of bottling. The palate is very precise with fine minerality and tension on the entry.
17.5/20 Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson. Mid to deep gold. Spicy and complex on the nose, pure lemon and honey on the palate but with a lively spark to lift all that weight of sweetness. Sweet/sour fresh length. Exudes finesse and goes on and on. Great acidity.
17.5/20 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Decanter. Lovely aromatics with floral notes, ginger and marmalade. Layered flavours with wonderful freshness in the background. Balanced, focused, well crafted Sauternes. Drink 2021-2041.
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.