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2016 Chateau Rieussec
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- Closure: Cork
Being owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (of Lafite fame) has been a boon for Chateau Rieussec. Since taking over the property in 1984, the planted vineyard area has increased from nearly 40 hectares to roughly 90 hectares today. Investment has also been made in the cellars, and the winemaking team are now better placed to work with the multiple small lots stemming from various parcels and picking runs through the vineyard. The vineyard is planted to 90% Semillon, 7% Sauvignon Blanc, and 3% Muscadelle, and the wines are aged in roughly 50% new French oak.
The 2016 Rieussec is a blend of 83% Sémillon, 12% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Muscadelle picked form 26 September until 4 November. It has a much more straightforward bouquet compared to the 2015 with light honeysuckle and white flower aromas. There is good acidity in the mouth thanks the passerillé berries, nicely balanced with a touch of orange zest towards the linear finish that will hopefully gain more weight during its élevage. It is likely to be an earlier-drinking Rieussec than the 2015.
Neal Martin eRobertParker.com #230 (Apr 2017)
Lots of botrytis here in addition to dried mushrooms and dried fruit such as pineapple and peaches. Medium to full body. Medium sweet. Very long and intense. A triumph.
Made by the Lafite-Rothschild team, this is a powerfully dense wine. It has intense botrytis and fine acidity, as well as sumptuous ripe marmalade and apricot flavors. This is certainly for long-term aging.
The 2016 Rieussec is gorgeous. Despite the relatively low acidity of the vintage, it preserves a good deal of aromatic freshness, with plenty of lemon confit, passion fruit and coconut overtones. The decision to lower the Sémillon a touch and increase the Sauvignon Blanc has paid handsome rewards. The 2016 is not a truly profound Sauternes - that would have been nearly impossible this vintage - but it comes close. Quite frankly, it is nearly impossible to spit.