« R » de Rieussec

“R” de Rieussec is produced on the Château Rieussec estate, a Sauternes Premier Cru Classé.
It is partly produced from the same vines as the Sauternes. 
20% of fermentation takes place in barrels. This technique enhances the wine’s potential to age, while preserving its freshness and the natural fruitiness from the grapes.

« R » de Rieussec

Vintages

  • Vintage 2019

    • Sémillon 51%,
    • Sauvignon blanc 49%

    The season began with a mild, dry winter. However, there were then six serious threats of frost between March and May.
    After a relatively cold, rainy start, June brought an early summer heat wave the likes of which had not been seen since 2003. Fortunately, it was brief. The vines coped well with the lack of water in July, almost as if the dry spring had prepared them.
    Miraculously, some rain arrived on 26 July. The timing was perfect, and it had the effect of triggering the véraison, when the grapes change colour and begin to ripen.
    The temperate weather in August proved to be a godsend for our dry white wines: the grapes were harvested from the end of August to mid-September with superb freshness and well-preserved aromatic potential.
    The work to determine which plots should be dedicated exclusively to dry white wine is bearing fruit. This year the Sémillon is particularly vibrant, and the young, recently planted plots of Sauvignon are living up to their promise.
    Following the 2017, here is another R that will go down as a great vintage.

    TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING):

    Beautiful pale-yellow colour with youthful glints of green.
    The nose is reserved before aeration, but already offers a glimpse of a very fresh wine. On aeration, the Sauvignon aromas emerge first. They are classic with a hint of exoticism. Then come more flowery notes of Sémillon. The oak is very well-integrated.
    On the palate, the attack offers volume without being excessive, and reveals a pleasant, tight structure. This is an R that will be remembered: simultaneously lively and delicate, with superb length!

  • Vintage 2020

    • Sauvignon blanc 57%,
    • Sémillon 43%

    The autumn winter of 2019-2020 was one of the warmest for the last ten years in Bordeaux, resulting in an early bud break around 20 March. There was frequent rain from April to June, and we had to fight against a significant threat of downy mildew. The vines stayed ahead of their usual growth cycle, flowering around 19 May. There was then a fairly abrupt transition with 55 days without rain over the summer months. Véraison (colour change) started around 25 July. We detected quite severe water stress in some parts of our beautiful gravel terraces. The soil on the hillsides and at the base of the slopes, and the limestone marl fared much better in the hot, dry weather. As a result, the first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were harvested early this year, with picking starting on 18 August. The harvests continued in fine weather, finishing just before the first days of September, which is quite remarkable: we have not had such early harvests at Rieussec for at least a decade.

    TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING):

    Very intense, complex nose.
    There are lovely aromas of citrus and passion fruit from our Bois plots, full of young Sauvignon Blanc vines growing on limestone marl. More mineral, smoky notes recall the scent of hot, moist gravel after a magnificent summer storm on the plateau.
    The palate is very smooth, underscored by an acidity that contributes to the wine’s length. There is excellent volume with a delicious touch of butter thanks to the ageing in barrels from our cooper, Tonnellerie des Domaines (Lafite). Notes of bergamot accompany the finish, which ends with a promising liveliness.

  • Vintage 2018

    • Sauvignon 58%,
    • Sémillon 42%

    After the terrible hailstorm, conditions at Rieussec remained beneficial over the summer. But while the weather during September may have been miraculous for the red grapes, it was a handicap for the Botrytis, which was delayed, and delayed, and delayed… with the result that the harvests did not begin properly until after 20 October. By this time, temperatures had dropped, and there was not quite enough sunshine to obtain the rich, candied flavours that characterize the great years, but Rieussec’s magnificent terroir was able once again to produce very high-quality grapes, especially the Sauvignon Blanc. The blending stage was therefore very selective, and the vintage has a generous proportion of Sauvignon.

    TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING):

    The complex, delicate nose reveals itself gradually, with a subtle blend of tropical fruit, menthol and an elegant oakiness. Ultimately, floral aromas dominate, but notes of fresh tropical fruit remain present in the background. The palate is initially very fresh, the butteriness from the barrel-ageing is immediately expressed, but not excessively. The wine then develops superb volume, completely filling the palate. The long finish returns to a delightful youthful acidity, with a hint of the menthol from the nose.

  • Vintage 2017

    • Sauvignon 54%, Sémillon 46%

    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 a heavy rainy spell at the end of June, temperatures remained lower than normal throughout the summer, but it never became cold. The grapes therefore ripened slowly, which is ideal, especially for dry white wines.
    The positive effect of this early, not very warm summer was immediately apparent at the harvest with the grapes for the dry white wine presenting an exceptionally rich aromatic palette. An exceptional vintage for “R” de Rieussec.

    TASTING NOTE (AT BOTTLING):

    Beautiful pale yellow colour with youthful glints of green.
    The nose presents tremendous aromatic intensity. Exotic fruit, mango and pineapple predominate over the citrus notes that are more subdued for now. The oak from the barrel-ageing is well-integrated.
    The palate immediately presents superb freshness, resulting from a summer during which temperatures did not become excessively high. The wine has lots of volume but remains lively and ethereal thanks to its acidity.
    Flavours follow one another throughout the tasting, in particular fresh pear and notes of white flowers. Overall, the palate is characterized by length, balance and harmony, and a long aftertaste.

  • Vintage 2016

    • 57% Sémillon
    • 43% Sauvignon

    Once again, the winter started with a period of very mild weather from December to the end of January. Fortunately, a cold spell arrived in February and continued until bud break, around 8 April, resulting in a few frosts in the surrounding area.
    Spring was wet until mid-June but this did not disrupt flowering, which began on 9 June. The summer was then very hot and dry and there was some concern prior to the harvests regarding the likely quality and freshness of the dry white wines.

    Powerful, harmonious nose with notes of citrus, mango, and other exotic fruit.
    The direct, energetic attack on the palate presents the same exotic, fresh character. The wine presents plenty of volume and good harmony. The buttery notes from the barrel-ageing have a definite presence and will quickly become integrated to give the wine more complexity. The finish is backed up by a pleasant acidity.

  • Vintage 2015

    • 62% Sémillon
    • 38% Sauvignon

    The winter of 2014-2015 started out mild and dry. But, as is often the case, February brought colder weather, 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. Towards the end of the summer the weather was milder, with cooler temperatures that were perfect for a slow ripening of the grapes.

    Tasting notes (at bottling):

    Beautiful nose dominated by flowers and lively citrus notes. Its refined style is enhanced by the very well-integrated wood that brings a pleasant complexity.
    On the palate, the attack is subtle, the wine then gains in volume, remaining perfectly balanced. Despite being the minority in the blend, the Sauvignon is well-expressed, without overpowering the Sémillon’s elegance.

  • Vintage 2014

    • 54% Sémillon
    • 46% Sauvignon

    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.

    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.

    Yields were not very generous, but it’s what’s in the glass that counts!

    TASTING NOTES (AT BOTTLING)

    Superb freshness and aromatic expression, especially from the Sauvignon, with its notes of boxwood perfectly integrated with very light woody notes from the barrel.

    The Sémillon is more noticeable at the start, bringing length and solidity to this wine that should be drunk Young.

  • Millésime 2013

    • 52 % Sauvignon
    • 48 % Sémillon

    L’hiver très humide et froid a engendré un grand décalage dans tous les travaux ; le débourrement a été tardif, la floraison aussi avec 3 semaines de retard sur la moyenne des 50 dernières années, sous un climat capricieux, ce qui a entraîné coulure et millerandage, annonçant une récolte moins importante qu’à l’habitude.
    Puis fin juin, le climat change brutalement et nous passons en plein été, sans transition, mais avec une forte tendance orageuse locale.
    La situation devient « sportive » à partir du 15 septembre : de la pluie, du soleil, une maturité longue à obtenir bien qu’une partie du retard ait été rattrapé.

    NOTES DE DEGUSTATION (à la mise en bouteilles):

    Le nez très fruité, du sauvignon, s’exprime en premier lieu, puis les arômes plus ronds du sémillon viennent en seconde ligne.
    En bouche, le vin est frais, assez vif au début puis gagne en rondeur sur la fin.
    La note boisée n’est pas dominante et laisse à ce vin sa « liberté d’expression ».

  • Vintage 2012

    • 55% Sémillon
    • 45% Sauvignon

    2012 was a complex year which saw a wet spring followed by alternating hot and damp periods during July and August. These somewhat unusual weather conditions meant that the protection of the vineyard required a great deal of attention. Extra vigilance on the part of our technicians enabled us to obtain a very satisfactory harvest with beautifully ripe grapes.

    Tasting notes (at bottling)

    A lovely expression of white peach, with citrus aromas (lemon and grapefruit) accompanied by more exotic notes (passion fruit), combine to give this wine a delightfully fresh, aromatic character.
    On the palate, the structure is quite lively, without being imposing, with lingering flavours. Avoid serving too cold in order to appreciate the full range of flavours and aromas.

  • Vintage 2011

    • 68% Sémillon
    • 32% Sauvignon

    Spring was particularly mild, warm and dry. The weather conditions suggested an early harvest. But the summer, with alternating cold and humidity during July and August changed our initial forecasts. Luckily the late summer was very sunny.

    Tasting notes (at bottling)

    Light golden colour. Typical, expressive Sauvignon nose; the palate reveals the solidity of the Sémillon. A wine to be drunk young.

  • Vintage 2009

    • 79% Sémillon
    • 18% Sauvignon
    • 3% Muscadelle

    The spring was rather cool and humid. We had to wait until 15 June for some warmer temperatures. After that it was perfection, with fine day time temperatures and cool nights.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Colour: already some golden glints
    Nose: aromas of grapefruit, white peach and orange blossom.
    Palate: the attack is clean and very direct. The Sauvignon is very expressive but there is also a sense of the power of the Sémillon that will develop.

    This wine should not be served too cold in order to enjoy its full range of flavours and aromas.

     

  • Vintage 2008

    • 47% Sémillon
    • 53% Sauvignon

    The spring frost affected the buds and hence the yields. August offered excellent weather conditions and September was hot and sunny resulting in well-ripened grapes. The harvests were relatively late over two days at the end of September.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Beautiful golden straw colour, fresh bouquet dominated by Sauvignon aromas. On the palate, the lively attack is followed by good volume and exotic flavours on the finish.

    Do not serve too cold in order to fully appreciate the flavours and aromas.

  • Vintage 2007

    • 79% Sémillon
    • 21% Sauvignon

    May to August was very rainy. By the end of August the grapes were far from ripe but fortunately the very sunny weather during the first fortnight of September allowed them to make progress. The cool summer also helped to preserve the aromas and characteristics of the grape varieties.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Beautiful golden straw colour. Tremendously fresh bouquet dominated by aromas of grapefruit and lychee. Lively attack on the palate. The finish is long and exotic, offering an excellent expression of the Sauvignon grape.

     

  • Vintage 2006

    • 70% Sémillon
    • 30% Sauvignon

    From April to July, there was every sign that it would be a great year with hot, dry, sunny weather. But the cool, wet August slowed down ripening. Thanks to warm weather at the beginning of September good levels of ripeness were finally achieved and we were able to harvest healthy grapes without any problems.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Straw yellow colour. Very elegant nose with plenty of freshness. Notes of exotic fruit develop on aeration. The first impression on the palate is lively with similar flavours to the bouquet: lychee, mango and pineapple. A long finish offers a perfect representation of the Sauvignon grape.

    Do not serve too cold in order to appreciate all the flavours and aromas.

     

  • Vintage 2005

    • 63% Sémillon
    • 37% Sauvignon

    2005 was a dry year, not a heat wave vintage like 2003. However, the rain deficit of almost 300 mm in our region did not cause the vines any “stress”.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Pale straw-yellow colour with slight hints of green. Exotic fruit and lychees dominate the nose. First impression on the palate is full-bodied, rich and very smooth. Good length, dominated by the Sauvignon, with a lively finish.

    To be drunk cold, but not too cold, so as not to “numb” the flavours.

     

  • Vintage 2004

    • 80% Sémillon
    • 20% Sauvignon

    The two violent hailstorms occurred just before the start of ripening. The milder weather in September made for a well-balanced wine. 

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Very pale yellow with light hints of green. Initially somewhat closed on the palate, but then very aromatic after a few seconds, developing notes of Sauvignon and boxwood.

     

  • Vintage 2003

    • 40% Sauvignon
    • 40% Sémillon
    • 20% Muscadelle

    2003 will be remembered in Bordeaux as the vintage of extremes. Winter 2002/2003 was mild and budburst was therefore early, in the first fortnight of March. Flowering was also early, in the last week of May. The summer was rather dry but above all incredibly hot from mid-June to harvest time, with a peak during the heatwave in mid-August. Our dry white vineyard was in good health and never suffered from these conditions,  so that the grapes ripened very quickly. On 20 August, the first tests for ripeness surprised us. Very low acidity and optimal fruit – the grapes were already ripe.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Very pale yellow colour with light hints of green. Very fresh on the nose, with notes of citrus fruit and well-integrated oak. Fresh, airy attack on the palate, with surprising acidity for such a hot weather vintage. Good aromatic length for the citrus fruit; notes of pear on the finish.

  • Vintage 2002

    • 50% Sauvignon
    • 50% Sémillon

    2002 will be remembered as a surprising vintage in Bordeaux. Flowering was interrupted by cold temperatures which led to flower abortion and uneven grape size. The summer was dull and overcast, but the vintage was saved by a very good late season. As a result the dry whites reached perfect ripeness on both a technical and aromatic level. The Sauvignon was harvested on 19 September. The Sémillon was picked on 22 and 25 September with an excellent degree of ripeness.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Powerful, intense nose of exotic fruit dominated by mango. Full-bodied, fresh palate on the attack which gives way to a very rich, smooth structure. The wine is balanced and long. Some citrus notes on the finish but overall the exotic fruit remain dominant.

     

  • Vintage 2001

    • 50% Sauvignon
    • 50% Sémillon

    The 2001 vintage began by a rainy spring and winter. May and June were dry, resulting in rapid, uniform flowering. The summer was fairly rainy and warm, which delayed growth and the ripening of the grapes. Dry and cool conditions in September led to slow ripening, which enhances the flavours of dry white wines.

    tasting notes (at bottling)

     This vintage is a pale golden colour. It has an elegant bouquet recalling flowers and fruity essences. The attack on the palate is supple and fresh. The development of power on the mid-palate reveals excellent potential. Long, full-bodied finish.

     

  • Vintage 2000

    • 70% Sémillon
    • 30% Sauvignon

    A classic year in terms of the vines’ growth cycle, without being overly early. The traditional plots allocated to the production of “R” on the Rieussec estate were harvested at full maturity on the 12 and 13 September. 

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    Light woody notes, with a gradual increase in power on the palate. Long, balanced finish.

     

  • Vintage 1999

    An early year that demanded extra vigilance from our technical team against the threat of mildew arising from the alternating periods of extreme heat and ambient humidity. The harvests were exceptionally early for “R” de Rieussec. 

    tasting notes (at bottling)

    This vintage has a light golden colour, tinged with green, and a fine flowery bouquet with fruity aromas. Delicious attack on the palate, with lovely freshness and softness, which highlights the elegance of the aromatic expression.