Sauternes is the apogee of sweet wine, requiring ideal autumn conditions to achieve its legendary greatness. 2017 is up there with the best and 97-pt Château Rieussec is a knockout. "An exceptional wine, stuffed full of exotic fruits" (Decanter).
Rieussec is reassuringly expensive, yet extremely good value. How so? Well, a top Bordeaux vineyard yields about one bottle of wine per vine. In Sauternes, it’s a mere glass. And furthermore, grapes are not harvested by machine or even in bunches, but individually! It’s incredibly concentrated nectar made possible by a benevolent fungus called botrytis that causes grapes to shrivel. Less juice means higher levels of sugar, acidity and flavours reminiscent of crème brûlée and candied fruit. Two years in new oak lends a luxurious finish. 2017 provided perfect conditions and Rieussec, next door to Château d’Yquem, made one of the region’s finest wines. Serve cool with something rich and salty or sweet – foie gras, Roquefort or crème caramel.
"Intense lemon tart, lime cordial, mango and quince notes, orange blossoms and honeysuckle scents"
Lisa Perrotti-Brown Wine Advocate, 97 points
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