Marks and reviews
The new profile of a fine, fresh and aromatic Bordeaux dry white wine
Owned by the Domaines de Barons Rothschild Lafite since 1984, Château Rieussec has been poised among the finest Sauternes Premiers Crus Classés since 1855. The château is renowned for the quality of its sweet wines, which are both fresh and powerful, and evolve beautifully over time. Respect for the environment is an essential part of the estate’s philosophy. Thus, the grapes are harvested by hand, allowing the vineyard’s most beautiful fruits to be picked one by one and to truly express themselves through an array of utterly authentic wines.
Château Rieussec produces fine Sauternes wines from an 85-hectare vineyard of vines and rests upon soils composed of sandy-clay gravel. The Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grape varieties slowly blossom until they reach an exceptional level of maturity which leads to the appellation’s infamous noble rot.
Having presented its new eco-friendly bottle, this Sauternes 1er Grand Cru Classé continues to evolve and has revealed the 2021 vintage of its dry white wine, R de Rieussec, in an innovative bottle.
Echoing the characteristic silhouette of Burgundy bottles, ESSENTIA is a PcR (Post-Consumer Recycled) glass bottle made from 96% recycled household glass. The packaging has also been improved, with a compact kraft cardboard box that allows for the sustainable transportation of 6 bottles of this Bordeaux dry white wine.
2021 was marked by a winter frost that strongly impacted the vineyard. Although the mild spring weather favoured the vegetative development, with flowering at the end of May taking place under pleasant conditions, the rainfall in June and July led to intense mildew pressure on this organically-converted vineyard. These changing weather conditions slowed down the veraison, which lasted from mid-July to mid-August. The optimal weather conditions recorded at the beginning of September were ideal for refining the ripening process. The grapes were seductively fresh and aromatically rich.
Vinification and ageing
Harvested by hand in small crates, the grapes are chilled to limit oxidation, before undergoing a gentle pressing to preserve their aromatic radiance. Cold settling then vinification of part of the Semillon must in new oak and second-fill barrels. Vinification of the Sauvignon Blanc musts predominantly in stainless steel vats, as well as in second-fill barrels. Vinification in barrels then ageing on the lees for six months with regular stirring of the lees. Once the maturation is completed, the juice is blended in stainless steel vats (50%) and barrels (50%).
Sauvignon Blanc (59%)
R de Rieussec 2021: Characteristics and tasting tips
The expressive nose blends refreshing exotic (passion fruit) and floral (fennel, tarragon) fragrances. Throughout the tasting, the bouquet reveals a suave alliance between minerality and tension.
This ample and beautifully round mouthfeel exudes alluringly subtle buttery, woody and flinty notes. The pure and mineral palate stretches out and weaves into a persistent and precise finish, sustained by a pleasant bitterness.