Lots of caramel and Seville orange. Apricots, vanilla and sultanas. Intensely sweet on the palate with a deep texture and and good complexity. This Sauternes is wonderfully long and dense with superb purity and precision. Extravagant sweet wine.
98 points, James Suckling (May 2013)
The 2009 Rieussec is a blend of 84% Semillon (relatively low), 12% Sauvignon Blanc and 4% Muscadelle picked between 17 September and 15 October over four pickings. It has a rich and powerful bouquet that overshadows the 2010, decadent ripe quince, peach and dried honey scents, a dab of beeswax developing with time. The palate is wonderfully balanced with botrytis-rich fruit, a multilayered and opulent Rieussec that somehow maintains quite brilliant balance towards the minerally finish. This is one of the great wines from the estate in the modern age.
97 points, Neal Martin (April 2016)
The team at Chateau Rieussec have conjured a stellar wine in 2009. There is a little reduction at first that fortunately blows away, revealing thickly layered scents of honey, Danish pastry and quince that appear to gain vigor with every passing sip. The palate is stunning: very viscous in the mouth with tangy grapefruit, honey and white peach. It is still primal, but the acidity is perfectly judged and there is a life-affirming sense of precision and tension towards the finish. Exceptional.
97 points, Neal Martin (February 2013)
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.