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The vintage

Another vintage that stood out from its predecessors. We thought we were back to a normal vintage, with a fairly cool start to the year and vines 2 weeks later in comparison with previous years. Apart from a fairly low cumulated rainfall, we were off to a good start.
In April, early morning frosts at the very beginning of the month affected our early terroirs. Fortunately, the most affected areas had not started budding yet (late pruning). The rest was fairly straightforward: very little water and lots of sunshine until the harvest. In a very short space of time, the vines caught up their delay, needing very little intervention on the sanitary level. The team had to devote itself to watering the young vines for much of the summer to limit losses. The harvest was very early for our dry whites (17/08), but for the sweet wines we had to wait for the humidity to kick in before the botrytis could start. An initial pass was carried out to save the damage caused by the sun. Then, thanks to a few rainy spells, things were finally able to get going. There was virtually no waste, with days where the degrees just kept rising, and even the grapes from the lower-quality plots finally made it to the cellar.

Location

The Sauternes appellation stretches on the left bank of the Garonne, about 50km South of Bordeaux. The natural humidity arising from the Ciron river provides the ideal conditions for the development of Bortrytis Cinerea, also known as noble rot.

Terroir

Château Rieussec sits on the border of Fargues and Sauternes, bordered by Château d'Yquem to the West. Rieussec is one of the largest properties in Sauternes and Barsac, covering 85 hectares of gravel sitting on sandy-clay soils.

Vinification

The grapes were harvested by hand into small crates on the plots selected for R de Rieussec. The Sauvignon was picked fairly early to preserve its freshness and rich thiol aromas, while the Sémillon was harvested when the grapes were thoroughly ripe to give the wine structure and body. The harvest was refrigerated before pressing to reduce oxidation. Pressing was gentle so as to preserve the grapes’ aromatic freshness. After cold settling, a large part of the Sémillon musts was vinified in new oak barrels and barrels that had held one wine. The Sauvignon musts were mainly vinified in stainless steel tanks at low temperature and a smaller quantity in barrels that had held one wine. At the end of the fermentation process, the wines in barrels were aged on the lees for six months with regular stirring. After ageing, the wines in stainless steel vats (50%) and in barrels (50%) were blended prior to bottling.

Tasting

On the nose, notes of thyme, lemon and green citrus fruit such as combava and lime with smoky and vanilla undertones and a fresh vegetal edge.
The attack is lively and fresh, with a very mineral, chalky aspect.
The palate is clean and lively, slightly toasted, with a saline finish prolonged by a gentle grapefruit bitterness.

Alcohol content

12.5

Grapes

Sauvignon blanc : 55 %
Sémillon : 45 %