Carmes de Rieussec

Sauternes

Château Rieussec’s second wine is selected according to the same standards as the first wine. Its character consistently reveals a beautiful aromatic range dominated by citrus flavours. Carmes de Rieussec’s name is a reference to the Carmelite monks in Langon, who owned the Rieussec estate in the 18th century.

Carmes de Rieussec Sauternes

Vintages

  • Vintage 2017

    • Sémillon 94%, Sauvignon blanc 3%, Muscadelle 3%

    After a fairly mild winter, there were two nights of severe frost in the spring, on 26 and 27 April, which inflicted major damage on Bordeaux’s vineyards. Rieussec escaped relatively lightly, with only 15% of the vines being affected.
    Conditions then became excellent, with higher than usual temperatures, and balanced, well-spaced rainfall. Flowering began ten days earlier than usual, on 28 May.
    After some heavy rain at the end of June, temperatures remained lower than normal throughout the summer, but it never became cold.
    By the end of August, the positive effect of this cool, fresh year was apparent in Sauternes. The rainy spell in mid-September was ideal, falling on the perfectly ripe, healthy grapes, it enabled the botrytis to get off to an excellent start.
    The dry, cool weather then returned, and the vines progressed perfectly; the grapes’ flavours became concentrated as they were harvested in rounds of selective picking; the harvests were historically fast, revealing a vintage with exceptional aromatic intensity.
    The harvests took place from 26 September to 12 October.

    TASTING NOTE (AT BOTTLING):

    Deep, golden yellow colour. Superb brightness.
    The nose presents powerful aromatic expression. This is a characteristic of this very fine white Bordeaux vintage. The wine is fresh and pure, with notes of citrus fruit, tangerine and then candied melon. The attack is elegant with a pleasant lightness, the wine then quickly gains substantial volume on the palate. Supported by a good level of acidity, it remains very fresh. The finish is harmonious, with no heaviness and just the right amount of sweetness.
    Serve between 8 and 10°C

  • Vintage 2016

    • Sémillon 97%, Sauvignon blanc 1%, Muscadelle 2%

    After very varied weather in 2015, 2016 proved to be a more uniform vintage throughout the Gironde region. This was a year that brought both quantity and quality, but was not without its fair share of surprises. The beginning of the winter was extremely mild and wet from December to the end of January, suggesting that bud break would be early. Fortunately, a cold spell arrived in February and continued until bud break around 8 April, resulting in a few frosts in the surrounding area. The summer was characterized by extreme dryness. The vines endured water stress for two months until the end of veraison. Lasting longer than in 2015, the heat wave could have affected the ripening process. But to our great relief, some rain finally arrived on 13th September. The growth cycle could therefore be completed without hindrance. The weather remained warm and dry, and so the botrytis was very late to develop; the best rounds of selective picking took place between 20th and 28th 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.

    TASTING NOTE (AT BOTTLING):

     The colour is a beautiful bright, pale yellow, with glints of green indicating the wine’s youth. The nose is already intense and reveals notes of tropical fruit such as mango and pineapple. There are still some well-integrated oaky notes from the barrel ageing. The attack is subtle and elegant with a beautiful liveliness that very much characterizes the vintage. Superb volume on the mid-palate. The wine remains balanced and consistent through to the finish, which reveals a very mild sweetness with lightly roasted notes evoking caramel.
    Serving temperature : 8° to 10 °C.

  • Vintage 2015

    • Sémillon 87%
    • Sauvignon 7%
    • Muscadelle 6%

    The winter of 2014-2015 started out mild and dry. But, as is often the case, February brought colder weather, slowing down growth, even to the extent that bud break was delayed.

    Spring was warm and fine, but too dry, almost exposing the vines to water stress. Fortunately, there was some rain at the beginning of June, which created ideal conditions for flowering. The summer was very hot until mid-August.

    TASTING NOTES (at bottling)

    Generous nose with jammy notes of white fruit, evolving towards bitter orange.
    The attack is delicate, the wine then develops superb power with notes of fresh pineapple. The palate is full-bodied with well-integrated wood. Well-balanced and concentrated, the finish is long and lingering.

  • Vintage 2014

    • 91% Sémillon
    • 5% Sauvignon
    • 4% Muscadelle

    Significant rainfall from November to February completely restored groundwater reserves, which had already been substantially replenished by average or higher than average rain in 2012 and 2013. Temperatures remained above normal and the vines missed the hearty winter frosts; what we really wanted were about two weeks of crisp mornings with beautiful sunshine, dry cold and no wind. But you cannot control nature!

    Bud break was early, followed by uniform flowering during the first week of June, spurred on by a rise in temperatures.

    As always, the impact of the weather on the vineyard was our primary concern, and our teams worked throughout the year to ensure that the grapes reach maturity in perfect health.

    The onset of ripening occurred over two periods, first in late July and then again after 15 August, creating differences in the ripeness of the bunches on the same vine.

    TASTING NOTES (at bottling):

    Fairly dense nose, honey and acacia flowers, slightly woody.
    Full-bodied, generous, well-balanced palate, with a pleasantly sweet finish.

     

  • Vintage 2013

    • 87% Sémillon
    • 8% Sauvignon
    • 5% Muscadelle

    The very wet, cold winter resulted in work in the vineyard being considerably delayed; bud break was late, and flowering was three weeks later than the average for the last 50 years; the changeable weather resulted in some flower abortion and uneven grape size, and therefore in lower potential yields than usual. Then at the end of June, the weather suddenly changed, and it was as if we were in the middle of the summer, with no transition, although there were a lot of localized storms.

    The harvest period put our technicians in a cold sweat: rain, sun, and a long, slow ripening, which became difficult to manage with an “explosive” outbreak of botrytis in late September! Fortunately, the sorting teams were very efficient despite the difficult harvest conditions. The selective picking continued to the end of October with excellent botrytisation.

    TASTING NOTES (at bottling) :

    Initially presenting Sauvignon aromas, the nose is then dominated by freshness and exotic notes. On the palate the attack is clean, direct, and silky, followed by slightly spicy notes of honey that extend into a lively finish. An aperitif wine best enjoyed young and thoroughly chilled.

  • Vintage 2012

    • 87% Sémillon
    • 10% Sauvignon
    • 3% Muscadelle

    A difficult year. The first challenge was a hail storm on 24 April, and then a late flowering (10 June) in damp conditions, which had a direct, negative impact on potential yields.
    June and July brought alternating heat and humidity, which was very favourable for the growth of fungi: downy mildew and powdery mildew in the vineyards, but also ceps and chanterelles in the woods! Protection against disease was difficult, and the wine growers and vineyard managers had to apply all of their skills and experience to work with the rules that we set in our “Sustainable Development” charter.
    At the end of August, in beautiful warm weather, the onset of ripening was uneven, resulting in difficulties at the sorting stage, and particularly complex choices regarding the order in which plots were harvested.

    Despite everyone’s best efforts, these conditions did not allow us to produce a first wine (Château Rieussec) for this vintage; however, it was possible to salvage a pleasant, fruity, floral Carmes de Rieussec.

    Tasting notes  (at bottling):

    Bouquet of white flowers, acacia and honeysuckle. On the palate, the sweetness is present from the start with notes of honey; the wine then confirms a balanced, harmonious structure and the moderately long finish ends with a pleasant, fairly lively expression.
    This wine should be drunk young as an aperitif.

  • Vintage 2011

    • 84% Sémillon
    • 12% Sauvignon
    • 4% Muscadelle

    The beginning of the vines’ cycle was complex to manage, being characterized by relatively low rainfall from January to March and very little rain in April. The morning dew combined with low humidity and high temperatures created favourable conditions for the development of powdery mildew (a cryptogamic disease), requiring extreme vigilance in the vineyard. There was sporadic rain in August and September, creating humidity that was conducive to the growth of botrytis; this was followed by a beautiful Indian summer which enabled us to wait for optimal ripeness and to spread the harvests over an extended period (with 7 selective pickings) until 2 November.

    Tasting notes (at bottling, May 2013)

    Floral nose of acacia, fresh pears and then candied apricots. The palate starts off very well-rounded and then becomes tighter and more minerally, with a long finish expressing well-developed fruity notes.

  • Vintage 2010

    • 92% Sémillon
    • 5% Sauvignon Blanc
    • 3% Muscadelle

    The 2010 vintage was somewhat similar to the 2009. The start of the growing season was complex and difficult to manage through to mid-June, due to high rainfall. Then July, August and September were very dry (20mm on average), with high daytime temperatures and cool nights, ideal conditions for the slow but complete ripening of the grapes.

    Tasting notes (at bottling)

    The colour is already an attractive pale gold.
    Candied exotic fruits on the nose dominate over the primary aromas of the grape varieties. Firm on the palate, quite concentrated, then opening up to reveal soft hints of honey.

  • Vintage 2009

    • 100% Sémillon

    The beginning of the growth cycle was somewhat tricky. The technical team had to be particularly vigilant in order to protect the vines. Fine, stable weather returned in June but conditions became drought like, interspersed in July, August and September with welcome periods of light rain. Daily hot temperatures combined with fairly cool nights enabled slow ripening.

    Tasting notes (at bottling)

    Expressive fruit, delightful initial palate. Very good finish. This wine still needs to be kept in cellar for a few years.

  • Vintage 2008

    • 85% Sémillon
    • 15% Sauvignon Blanc

    Frost during the spring affected the quantities of grapes and yields. In August, we benefited from good weather conditions while the late summer was characterised by mild temperatures. September was hot and sunny which resulted in a good degree of ripeness.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Aromas of candied apricot, citrus fruit and white peach are supported by a nuance of honey: keep your nose in the glass and savour the bouquet for a few minutes! The palate is very smooth, rather full-bodied and balanced with a lively note on the finish.

     

  • Vintage 2007

    • 97% Sémillon
    • 3% Sauvignon Blanc

    After a normal winter and an exceptionally mild April, 2007 was comparatively cool from June to August, with below average temperatures and sunshine. However, a warm and sunny September and October enabled the harvest to fully ripen without any problems. In the end, the weather conditions offered the potential for a great vintage.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Golden colour with hints of light amber.
    The nose offers superb freshness with exotic fruit; in the mouth there is a well-structured sweetness that is not excessive and finishes with slightly candied citrus flavours.

     

  • Vintage 2006

    • 97.5% Sémillon
    • 2.5% Muscadelle

    Autumn and winter were characterized by a significant lack of rain. This situation was then compensated by heavy rain in March. From April to July, the weather was fine and warm. August was cooler but then sunny weather from the beginning of September enabled the grapes to fully ripen.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Nice dense golden colour. Fresh nose with notes of spices and pears. Structured on the palate, rich and balanced with good acidity and an exotic fruit finish.

     

  • Vintage 2005

    • 90% Sémillon 
    • 6% Sauvignon
    • 4% Muscadelle

    The end of 2004 and the first few months of 2005 were very dry, with only 127 mm of rainfall recorded from December 2004 to the end of March! The growth cycle therefore began with very few reserves. Average temperatures were comparable to 2004 and much lower than in 2003.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Golden yellow colour. Fresh on the nose with lemony citrus notes. Exotic fruit when swirled. Full-bodied, generous attack on the palate;  long, lively finish.

  • Vintage 2004

    • 100% Sémillon

    The weather in the first few months of the year was similar to 2003, with warm temperatures and average rainfall. After a wet April, June and July were dry but August had higher than average rainfall. September was fine but not excessively hot, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Deep, straw yellow colour with bright hints of gold. Expressive nose of acacia flowers, dried fruit and almonds. A lively front palate with excellent freshness. Very intense flavours of fresh fruit, predominantly figs and apricots. Pleasant touch of acidity on the finish.

     

  • Vintage 2003

    • 100% Sémillon

    2003 will be remembered for its heat wave and the low rainfall, resulting in exceptionally early harvests.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    A powerful, concentrated, rich vintage. Very refined, expressive nose develops notes of fig jam, vanilla and honey. Tremendous smoothness on the palate, reflecting a superb richness. The long finish returns to the initial flavours of the bouquet, with very intense candied fruit. 

  • Vintage 2002

    • 85% Sémillon
    • 10% Sauvignon
    • 5% Muscadelle

    2002 was characterized by uncertain weather conditions, the initially mixed weather became very good as the ripening period approached. After a warm, dry winter, bud break was early but a relatively cold, rainy period during flowering brought some flower abortion and uneven grape size. July and August were generally cooler than usual, but fortunately were followed by a wonderful September favourable for the development of botrytis: dry, with heat and sun in the daytime, and cool temperatures at night.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Golden colour with a beautiful brightness. The very open nose announces freshness and lightness. Notes of toffee with some citrus fruit zest. In the mouth, the delicate attack takes on beautiful volume, developing a complex flavour palette in which candied apricot and melon dominate. A wonderful vintage.