R de Rieussec 2015

Special Price $22.95 Average US Price $119.00
Out of stock

• Domaine: Château Rieussec
• Appellation: Bordeaux Blanc Sec (Dry White)
• Grape Varietals: 62% Sémillon, 38% Sauvignon blanc
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar

Château Rieussec is considered one of the jewels of the Sauternes and Barsac appellation.  The estate is well known for producing a stunning expression of Sauternes - golden nectar requires a team of vignerons who are highly knowledgeable, flexible, and able to easily pivot.  Though Sauternes is more widely available from this property, Château Rieussec also produces a still white wine made from a mixture of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon called R de Rieussec.  Finding such a limited available expression of white wine from this particular portion of Bordeaux is no easy task, as the still white wines of Sauternes are rarely sold in the United States.  Yet with all that in mind, this crystalline dry white wine is well worth the purchase.   

Château Rieussec has a long history that dates to the 18th Century when it belonged to an order of Carmelite Monks.  During the French Revolution, the property was confiscated by the government.  After it was sold as an object of National Heritage, the property changed hands many times until it was eventually purchased by the Gasqueton family, proud owners of the legendary property Château Calon Segur in Saint-Estèphe.  Eventually the property was purchased in 1984 from Alain Vuillier by the Rothschilds and Albert Frere.  Albert Frere was no stranger to the wine world, as he already owned a portion of the legendary property, Château Cheval Blanc in Saint-Émilion. The facilities were modernized after the Rothschilds were placed at the helm of the estate, and they almost doubled the vineyard holdings.  The property now is a sprawling 85 hectares – something that is highly unusual in Sauternes.

The property has a mixture of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes that grow in the terroir of clay, gravel, sand and limestone soils.  Château Rieussec has one of the highest elevations in Sauternes – just after Château d’Yquem.  Highest points at the vineyard reach up to 78 meters.  The vines are 25 years old on average, and the entire harvest process at this property is not without its challenges.  With Sauternes, the grapes must be infected with the noble rot which raisinates them so they could produce that sweet, honeyed and delightful beverage.  This process happens randomly, so the team at Château Rieussec must be very vigilant when overseeing their vineyard.  Like all producers in Sauternes, the harvest is done in passes, so one can imagine how difficult it would be to do several passes on such a sprawling vineyard such as that of Château Rieussec.

The team at Château Rieussec has a bit of an easier time harvesting the mixture of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for R de Rieussec and this beautiful wine is able to age for quite some time if stored properly.  Though a portion of the vines that go into the Sauternes also provide fruit for R de Rieussac, the majority of the vines are harvested elsewhere.  R de Rieussec is aged with just a kiss of French oak to help its ageing potential yet maintain its freshness.




Climate: 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.

Ripening and harvests: Towards the end of the summer the weather was milder, with cooler temperatures that were perfect for a slow ripening of the grapes. The harvests at R de Rieussec took place from 2 to 9 September, with each plot and grape variety being picked at the ideal date.

Tasting Notes

"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." - Estate Tasting Note

"The 2015 R de Rieussec has a crisp, slightly reserved bouquet with green apple and gooseberry scents, a touch of cold stone in the background. The palate is fresh and vibrant with good depth, although it needs a little more personality to come through on the Zen-like finish." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Ratings: 87-89, Drink: 2017-2021


More Information
Stock Status Out of Stock
Appellation Bordeaux
Vintage 2015
Brand Château Rieussec
Shipping Weight 3.000000
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The Sauternes appellation is one of the world's most famous and prestigious sweet wine regions in the south of Bordeaux. Sauternes and Barsac are two neighboring sub-regions of Graves located on the Left Bank along the Garonne River. The vineyards of Sauternes stretch across several communes, including Sauternes, Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, and Preignac.


Sauternes' viticultural history spans several centuries, and the region has a solid reputation for its high-quality sweet wines. The unique climate of the region, influenced by the proximity of the Ciron and Garonne rivers, creates ideal conditions for developing Botrytis cinerea, a fungus known as ‘noble rot.' This fungus concentrates the sugars in the grapes, resulting in rich and complex wines.  Sauternes wines are primarily made from three grape varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. With their golden hue and intensely aromatic bouquet, they are a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. On the palate, they offer a fascinating array of flavors: from honey and apricot to peach, spices, candied fruits, and sometimes a hint of vanilla. The wines of this appellation are glorious, succulent, rich in nuance, and complex, sweet Bordeaux wines that are much appreciated worldwide.


Sauternes wines enjoy an excellent reputation, reflected in the 1855 classification with the Château d’Yquem selected as Premier Cru Supérieur (First Great Growth). Other Premier Cru (First Growth) Sauternes are: Château Suduiraut, Château Coutet, Château Guiraud, Château Rieussec, Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey.

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