Medium colour. Lemon curd, mandarin bitter lemon aromas with flinty marzipan notes. Fresh and lively with lemon curd, marzipan toasted almond flavours, lovely lacey textures, underlying toasty oak notes and long flinty acidity. Tasted at the Union des Grand Crus.
Lots of botrytis here in addition to dried mushrooms and dried fruit such as pineapple and peaches. Medium to full body. Medium sweet. Very long and intense. A triumph.
The 2016 Rieussec is gorgeous. Despite the relatively low acidity of the vintage, it preserves a good deal of aromatic freshness, with plenty of lemon confit, passion fruit and coconut overtones. The decision to lower the Sémillon a touch and increase the Sauvignon Blanc has paid handsome rewards. The 2016 is not a truly profound Sauternes - that would have been nearly impossible this vintage - but it comes close. Quite frankly, it is nearly impossible to spit.
The 2016 Rieussec is a blend of 83% Sémillon, 12% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Muscadelle picked form 26 September until 4 November. It has a much more straightforward bouquet compared to the 2015 with light honeysuckle and white flower aromas. There is good acidity in the mouth thanks the passerillé berries, nicely balanced with a touch of orange zest towards the linear finish that will hopefully gain more weight during its élevage. It is likely to be an earlier-drinking Rieussec than the 2015.
"The 2016 Rieussec has an elegant bouquet of pure honeysuckle, orange pith, peach and light minerally aromas. The palate is well balanced with fine precision and pleasant fatness, featuring white peach and almond-infused, honeyed fruit. A touch of vanilla emerges toward the finish. This was a barrel sample due to be bottled in January 2019, though it was virtually the finished wine. 2022-2050"
93 Points, Vinous
"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."
97 Points, JamesSuckling.com
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.