The vintage

After the terrible hailstorm, conditions at Rieussec remained beneficial over the summer. But while the weather during September may have been miraculous for the red grapes, it was a handicap for the Botrytis, which was delayed, and delayed, and delayed... with the result that the harvests did not begin properly until after 20 October. By this time, temperatures had dropped, and there was not quite enough sunshine to obtain the rich, candied flavours that characterize the great years, but Rieussec’s magnificent terroir was able once again to produce very high-quality grapes, especially the Sauvignon Blanc. The blending stage was therefore very selective, and the vintage has a generous proportion of Sauvignon.


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.


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 93 hectares of gravel sitting on sandy-clay soils.


Grapes are harvested by hand in small crates. They are refrigerated prior to being brought to the press, which helps prevent oxydation. The pressing is gentle in order to retain the aromatic freshness of the grapes. Once the must has settled, most of the semillon are placed in new oak barrels to undergo alcoholic fermentation, whilst the sauvignon is predominantly fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Once fermentation is completed, the wine in barrel is kept on its lees for a period of six months with regular stirring, whilst the sauvignon are racked and left to age in the tanks to preserve their aromatic qualities.


The complex, delicate nose reveals itself gradually, with a subtle blend of tropical fruit, menthol and an elegant oakiness. Ultimately, floral aromas dominate, but notes of fresh tropical fruit remain present in the background. The palate is initially very fresh, the butteriness from the barrel-ageing is immediately expressed, but not excessively. The wine then develops superb volume, completely filling the palate. The long finish returns to a delightful youthful acidity, with a hint of the menthol from the nose.

Alcohol content



Sauvignon : 58 %
Sémillon : 42 %