The vintage

The two key characteristics of 1990 were that it was very early and very dry. Bud break was in February, a month earlier than in “normal” years. The first treatments in the vineyard took place at the end of March, which was unheard of in Sauternes, and the growth cycle progressed, maintaining its lead. Despite the apparent dryness, there was sufficient ambient humidity for noble rot to develop rapidly and homogeneously. Most unusually, the harvesting of the sweet wine grapes finished before the reds.


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.


All batches were pressed individually in small pneumatic presses. After a few hours of cold settling, the must was transferred into new oak barrels from the Tonnellerie des Domaines in Pauillac for fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation was interrupted when the desired balance between alcohol and sugar had been reached. After fermentation, the wine was aged in barrels for 24 months.


Fairly deep golden-bronze colour.
Characteristic Rieussec nose with notes of candied apricots and honey. Tremendously rich, complex and full-bodied on the palate. Superb balance between power and finesse with a pleasant liveliness due to the underlying acidity. A great vintage for long-term cellaring.

Alcohol content



Sémillon : 97 %
Muscadelle : 3 %