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Bright, golden yellow colour.
The nose is fresh and powerful with citrus notes, particularly tangerine skin. These are complemented by toasted aromas from the perfectly integrated oak.
On the palate, the attack is very fresh and balanced, characterized by mellowness and finesse. The wine then reveals its power, with a sensation of fullness and tremendous density. The very long, lingering finish offers aromas of dried apricots, caramel and bitter orange.
Château Rieussec has been a leading wine in Sauternes for several generations. Ranked as a Premier Grand Cru in 1855, it is made with a subtle blend of Sémillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle. Production varies a great deal depending on the vintage, but on average is about 6,000 cases (however, none was made in 1977, 1993 and 2012).
From 90 to 95% Sémillon, 5 to 10% Muscadelle and Sauvignon. Ageing in oak barrels from 18 to 26 months depending on the year, 50 to 55% in new barrels.
After very varied weather in 2015, 2016 proved to be a more uniform vintage throughout the Gironde region. While the vintage offered both quantity and quality, it was also not without its fair share of surprises.
The beginning of the winter was very mild and wet, suggesting that bud break would be early. However, it was subsequently delayed by cold weather in February and March.
The cold spring, with a lot of rain in Pauillac and Pomerol in June, threatened to disrupt flowering, but fortunately this went well on both the left and right banks.
The summer was characterized by extreme dryness. The vines had to endure significant water stress for two months until the end of véraison (when the grapes change colour). This hot period lasted longer than in 2015, and seemed likely to affect the ripening stage, when to our relief some rain finally arrived on 13 September. The growth cycle could therefore be completed without hindrance.
The weather remained hot and dry until the end of the red grape harvests, enabling them to reach perfect ripeness. In Sauternes, the botrytis did not develop until very late; the best rounds of selective picking were between 20 and 28 October.
The vinifications took place in ideal conditions, and the great potential of a vintage that had been something of a dark horse was finally revealed.