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  • Weather

    9° C Clear sky
  • Time

    06:12 AM
  • Wine average?

    93.2 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    75
  • Region Ranking?

    1
  • Popularity ranking?

    139

History

In the 18th century, the Rieussec estate belonged to the Carmelite monks in Langon. The confiscation of the estate during the revolution led to its public sale around 1790 as a “object of national heritage” to Mr. Marheilhac, the then owner of Château La Louvière in Léognan.

 

For the 1855 classification, M. Mayne was the owner of the estate. The quality of the Rieussec soil earned its ranking as a first growth Sauternes and Barsac. After that date, Rieussec’s history involves many changes of owners: Charles Crepin (around 1870), Paul Defolie (1892), Mr. Bannil (1907), then the Gasqueton family (owner of Château Calon-Ségur at Saint Estèphe), P.F. Berry during the war (an American citizen and brother-in-law of the Vicomte de Bouzet), Mr. Balaresque (1957) and lastly, Albert Vuillier (1971), who was passionate about Sauternes’ “sweet wines”.

 

Château Rieussec was acquired by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) in 1984. The estate then consisted of 110 hectares, 68 hectares of which were vines. To enhance Château Rieussec’s potential, rigorous measures were implemented, including meticulous sorting of the grapes and fermenting in barrels, which provides a much finer selection for the blending of the Grand Vin.

 

A new cellar was built in 1989 to extend the ageing period in barrels. The quantities of the Grand Vin that were produced were much reduced in the 1990’s due to more meticulous selection, to the point that none at all was produced in 1993 (this was also the case in 1977 and again in 2012).

 

In 2000, the renovation of the maturing cellar, the construction of a fermentation room, and the modernisation of the reception and pressing areas also represented strides forward in a quality policy that was launched  in 1985.

 

The first attempts at selection were rewarded by a remarkable trio of vintages in 1988, 1989 and 1990. This was crowned by an entire decade of very good wines from 1995 to 2005. The weather proved to be no obstacle for the remarkable vintages of 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005, among others! Furthermore, Château Rieussec 2001 was declared Wine of the Year in 2004 by Wine Spectator magazine. 

 

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Vineyards

The Château Rieussec vineyard extends to the border of Fargues and Sauternes, and adjoins Château d’Yquem. Rieussec is one of the largest properties in Sauternes and Barsac, the vineyard covers 93 hectares of gravelly soil layered with alluvial deposits.

 

The iconic grape variety of Sauternes, Sémillon dominates (90%), followed by Sauvignon (7%) and Muscadelle (3%). Traditional Sauternes techniques are used and the harvests are carried out with selective pickings depending on the ripeness of the grapes and evolution of botrytis cinerea (noble rot). They last for 6 to 8 weeks from September to November.

 

Production is low and firmly in the hands on Mother Nature. The traditional saying is that a single vine should produce a bottle of wine. Here, though, a single vine produces about a glass of wine! The vineyard is managed by Charles Chevallier, Technical Director of the Bordeaux Châteaus, with the help of Jean de Roquefeuil, Vineyard Manager, and Serge Lagardère, Cellar Master. 

 

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Winemaking

Wines are fermented in barrels. The yields are sorted and each parcel is identified and isolated in a batch of barrels, in order to judge whether or not it can be used in the Grand Vin after fermentation. Several tastings from each barrel are then performed in order to ensure a rigorous selection for the Grand Vin.

 

The cellars are located in the heart of the Château Rieussec vineyard at Fargues. Each vintage ages in oak barrels produced mostly at DBR’s cooperage. Half of them are renewed every year. The length of ageing in barrels varies from 16 to 26 months, during which the wines are periodically racked. The wines are bottled at the Château.

 

Production at Château Rieussec and Carmes de Rieussec varies a great deal depending on the vintage, but on average it is 12,000 cases per year. Rieussec also produces small quantities of a dry white wine, “R” de Rieussec.

 

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Winemaking since 1790

  • Baron Eric de Rothschild

    "The wines of Sauternes are so wonderful that we wanted to have our own, and Rieussec’s vineyard is outstanding”

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Juha Jormanainen, Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  5 wines 

L’Extravagant de Doisy-Daëne 2006 / Attractive and intense yellow color. Huge nose with loads of citrus, orange, pineapple, papaya and many more exotic fruit. On palate unbelievable mixture of all tropical fruits one can imagine – wow! Sweet, intensive wine with style and power. It is hard to write about this wine – you have to taste it. Expensive wine, but worth every penny. Long life ahead. 98 points.

2d 13h ago

 Juha Jormanainen, Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  4 wines 

Château Rieussec 2001 / Almost amber yellow color. Nose full of apricot and honey, you could almost chew it. On palate little too much acidity, but still wonderful – loads of exotic sweet fruit tastes. Just buy a bottle and taste it, then you know. Not a 100 points wine just now, maybe some years later, but still 98 points. Prize-quality ratio is one of the best ever.

2m 19d ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

6m 4d ago

 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  61 wines 

“I did have quite great expectations for 2015 vintage while tasting barrel samples in two first weeks in April 2016. Mainly because I witnessed during 10 days stay in Bordeaux (28.09 - 08.10), exceptional quality of grapes, their ripeness inside and outside, and very favourable weather in September and October, which promised so much. Expectations weren't fulfilled 100% unfortunately. Anyway, 2015 has nothing to be ashamed of!”

1y 4m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  104 wines 

“Bordeaux Vintage 2015 Part I / Vieux Château Certan 2015:100 points: Deep colour. Fresh aromatic musky dark plum aromas with praline, fine espresso, vanilla oak. Sweet dark cherry, musky plum praline violet flavours, beautiful long fine chalky silky tannins, superb savoury oak complexity and mid palate viscosity.  Fine dry grainy finish with beautiful flavour length. A very sophisticated wine with lovely freshness and line. Finesse and elegance. ”

1y 6m ago

 Bob Thompson / Wine Writer, Pro (South Africa)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  25 wines 

“Sauternes 1975 and 1976 tasting: Château Climens 1976 - 96 points: Decanted for one and half hour. Retained its best characteristics for three hours after opening. Wine level by the neck. The wine is temptingly golden. A charmingly open, mature and full nose. Still an attractively sweet, lively and multi-layered wine. Soft creamy texture. Excellent balance and a refined aftertaste. A perfect Sauternes from a suberb vintage.”

1y 6m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  5 wines 

“I’ve written elsewhere about what I think of the magnificent 1988 vintage in Champagne and Dom Perignon is one of the very best. Always has been. I’ve never quite found out the details but there seemed to be a very large number of '88 magnums of Dom released into Brisbane. The Thursday lunch group, mentioned in the Mates article, have had it appear on numerous occasions, though not for quite a few years. It was great to see it again and it was as good, if not better, than ever. For those that like mature champagne, this really is about at peak now.
Layered, complex and mature. Finely balanced, wonderfully refined. Bright acidity. Hints of cream and quince, citrus, dry honey and ginger.
Fresh and clean, wonderfully refreshing. Great length. A magnificent champagne, sheer class!
97 points

1y 8m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  11 wines 

“Yquem 2005 98 points - Medium deep colour. Remarkably extravagant wine with intense perfumed dried apricot/ nectarine/ lemon curd/ honey/ garrigue aromas and some savoury oak notes. Powerfully concentrated supple palate with incredibly deep set apricot/lemon curd/honey/ orange peel flavours balanced by savoury/bisquity oak and piercing acidity. A very rich profoundly exuberant wine compressed with fruit and energy. Will develop and last decades.”

2y 7m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  8 wines 

“The 2010 Lafite is superb. Tasted among other wines at the chateau with Charles Chevalier.”

2y 7m ago

 Edward Cuvée, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  7 wines 

“Uh what a nice private dinner :)”

3y 5m ago

 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  2 wines  from  Château Rieussec . In a tasting of  12 wines 

“Sauternes 2001s offered few great surprises. Although Yquem is stands above the others, Climens and Lafaurie-Peyraguey are not that far behind!”

4y 9m ago

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