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Grapes are hand-picked. Fermentations last about 3 weeks in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks, with frequent pumping-overs and addition of yeasts. Wines are afterward transferred to oak barrels, of which 25% are new, for 14-18 months aging. They are fined and filtered prior to bottling. No press wine is added into the grand vin.
The vineyards of Rauzan-Gassies are situated on alluvial terraces. Sixty percent of them are situated just around the chateau itself, and the remaining vineyards (gravelly soils) border Chateau Margaux, Palmer, and Lascombes.
Bordeaux 1959 was proclaimed the wine year of the century by overzealous journalists. Even though it was an excellent year, it simply was not the best of the century. The year started off with ideal weather conditions. Summer was perfect all the way until the autumn, when the rains came in mid-September. But the rains made way for hot, dry weather, thus setting a magnificent stage for the start of the harvest. The result was a truly ripe and juicy crop. The reds are typically full-bodied, with soft acidity and a fat mouthfeel that comes from the high alcohol content. Even though the vintage is generally compared to 1961, it has much in common with the 1949. The Sauternes vintage was equally a success and the region produced some very long-lived wines. Once again the Château Lafite-Rothschild achieved complete success, sharing the title of best wine of the vintage with the Haut-Brion. Right on their heels is the Pétrus, which should be decanted for at least three hours before drinking, and the La-Mission-Haut-Brion.