After a rather mild winter, there were two nights of severe frost in the spring, on 26 and 27 April, which inflicted major damage on Bordeaux’s vineyards. Rieussec escaped relatively lightly, with only 15% of the vines being affected. Conditions then became excellent, with higher than average seasonal temperatures and balanced, well-spaced rainfall. Flowering began on 28 May, ten days earlier than usual. After some quite heavy rain at the end of June, temperatures remained slightly below average for the rest of the summer.
By the end of August, the positive effect of this cool, early year was apparent. The rainy spell in mid-September was ideal, falling on the perfectly ripe, healthy grapes, and enabling the botrytis to get started.
The dry, cool weather then returned, and the vines progressed in ideal conditions; the harvests were historically fast, revealing a vintage with exceptional aromatic intensity.
The vineyards in the Sauternes appellation lie on the left bank of the Garonne, about 30 miles (50 km) south of Bordeaux. Natural humidity from the River Ciron provides perfect conditions for the growth of Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot.
Légende R Sauternes is produced from Château Rieussec's vineyard, which extends to the border of Fargues and Sauternes. Château Rieussec is one of the largest properties in Sauternes and Barsac; the vines cover 93 hectares of gravelly sandy-clay soil.
Légende R Sauternes was created with a view to combining the qualities of a good Sauternes and a dry white wine, being characterized by both richness and freshness.
During the harvests, a specific selection is made to sort and blend very concentrated, botrytized Sémillon with magnificent golden or reddish brown grapes. The latter correspond to the stages preceding noble rot.
The Sauvignon is selected from plots known for their aromatic quality and freshness, including botrytized grapes.
Vinification is conducted exclusively in stainless steel vats at low temperature, as for the dry white wines. The final stage of fermentation is carried out in such a way as to preserve a maximum of flavour.
Beautiful glittering, pale yellow with light greenish glints.
The initial nose is pleasant and surprising, combining the fresh notes of a dry white wine with the rich, candied notes of a sweet one. Dominance of yellow fruit such as peaches and nectarines, underscored by citrus notes.
On the palate, the attack is lively and delicate, with unusually good concentration for the region.
A long, smooth, vivacious finish takes us back to Sauternes.
: 82 %
Sauvignon blanc : 18 %