CARMES DE RIEUSSEC
61% Sémillon, 39% Sauvignon Blanc
Classified as a First Growth in 1855. Rieussec is one of the biggest estates of Sauternes with 227 acres of vines, situated on the “communes” of Sauternes and Fargues, high above the Garonne River, in a small area where the cold Autumn dawns help form the famous mist. It is this mist which many believe plays a major role in the development of botrytis cinerea (noble rot). Château Rieussec is located in Fargues (adjacent to Château d’Yquem).
In the 18th century, the Rieussec estate belonged to the Carmes de Langon monks. Sold as a “national inheritance” after the French Revolution, Rieussec experienced several changes of owners before being acquired by Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite in 1984. Since then, meticulous plot selection and important innovative methods have been used in the cellars to enhance quality.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
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; It is one of the largest properties in Sauternes and Barsac, covering 85 hectares, made up of gravel on sandy-clay soil.
The winter of 2021 was forever one to remember. With temperatures that went down to -9°, frost had never affected the entire French wine-growing territory so severely. Then spring settled into a serene rhythm and the vines blossomed at the end of May. June and July were rainy, with millimetres of water accumulating, and winegrowers fought against mildew. The veraison began in mid-July under unstable skies and lasted until mid-August. Fortunately, the following months were more clement.
Rain on September 15th and the regular fog allowed the noble rot to progressively take hold. A first sorting on October 1st was promising but confirmed the very low yields of the vintage. Everything accelerated in the second half of October. The teams carried out up to four selections to end up with magnificent grapes of great freshness on October 29th.
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.TASTING NOTES
The nose is subtle, with an initial minerality and notes of hot stone and dry grass after a storm. Fruity notes of fresh apricot and some white flowers follow.
On the nose and palate, a Sauvignon aroma guides, with a light lemony feel and plenty of freshness on the palate. The confit is discreet, the wood very well integrated, giving life to a chiselled wine.