The vintage

After very varied weather in 2015, 2016 proved to be a more uniform vintage throughout the Gironde region. This was a year that brought both quantity and quality, but was not without its fair share of surprises. The beginning of the winter was extremely mild and wet from December to the end of January, suggesting that bud break would be early. Fortunately, a cold spell arrived in February and continued until bud break around 8 April, resulting in a few frosts in the surrounding area. The summer was characterized by extreme dryness. The vines endured water stress for two months until the end of veraison. Lasting longer than in 2015, the heat wave could have affected the ripening process. But to our great relief, some rain finally arrived on 13th September. The growth cycle could therefore be completed without hindrance. The weather remained warm and dry, and so the botrytis was very late to develop; the best rounds of selective picking took place between 20th and 28th October. The vinifications took place in ideal conditions, and the great potential of a vintage that had been something of a dark horse was finally revealed.


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 Botrytis Cinerea, also known as noble rot.


Château Rieussec sits on the border of Fargues and Sauternes. Château Rieussec is one of the largest properties in Sauternes and Barsac, covering 93 hectares, made up of gravel on sandy-clay soil.


The grapes are pressed as soon as they arrive at the winery. After settling, the musts are transferred to new barrels for fermentation. Grapes from each plot are pressed and fermented separately. At the end of fermentation, the wines are kept on the lees and stirred regularly until mid-December. After a resting period, the wines are racked and blended before being returned to the barrels to age for about 12 months.


The colour is a beautiful bright, pale yellow, with glints of green indicating the wine’s youth. The nose is already intense and reveals notes of tropical fruit such as mango and pineapple. There are still some well-integrated oaky notes from the barrel ageing. The attack is subtle and elegant with a beautiful liveliness that very much characterizes the vintage. Superb volume on the mid-palate. The wine remains balanced and consistent through to the finish, which reveals a very mild sweetness with lightly roasted notes evoking caramel. Serving temperature : 8° to 10 °C.

Alcohol content



Sémillon : 97 %
Muscadelle : 2 %
Sauvignon blanc : 1 %