Carmes de Rieussec
The winter of 2021 will remain engraved in the memories of our winegrowers. With a thermometer that went down to -9 degrees, frost will never have affected the entire French wine-growing territory so severely. It arrived without warning, with a cheeky attitude, not following any rules. Then spring settled into a serene rhythm and the vines blossomed at the end of May. The months of June and July were rainy, with millimetres of water accumulating, and our winegrowers gathered their strength to fight against mildew. The veraison began in mid-July under unstable skies and lasted until mid-August. Fortunately, the following months were more clement.
The rain of September 15th and the regular fog allowed the noble rot to progressively take hold. A first sorting on October 1st was promising but confirmed the very low yields of the vintage. Everything accelerated in the second half of October. The teams carried out up to 4 selections to end up with magnificent grapes of great freshness on 29 October.
The Sauternes appellation stretches on the left bank of the Garonne, about 50km South of Bordeaux. The natural humidity arising from the Ciron river provides the ideal conditions for the development of Botrytis Cinerea, also known as noble rot.
Château Rieussec sits on the border of Fargues and Sauternes. Château Rieussec is one of the largest properties in Sauternes and Barsac, covering 85 hectares, made up of gravel on sandy-clay soil.
The grapes are pressed as soon as they arrive at the winery. After settling, the musts are transferred to new barrels for fermentation. Grapes from each plot are pressed and fermented separately. At the end of fermentation, the wines are kept on the lees and stirred regularly until mid-December. After a resting period, the wines are racked and blended before being returned to the barrels to age for about 12 months.
The nose is subtle, with an initial minerality, with notes of hot stone and dry grass after the storm. This is followed by fruity notes of fresh apricot and some white flowers.
On the nose and palate, we are guided by a Sauvignon aroma (39% Sauvignon Blanc in the blend) with a light lemony feel and plenty of freshness on the palate.
The confit is discreet, the wood very well integrated, giving life to a chiselled wine to which we want to return.