This Sauternes comes from a holding of Chateau Rieussec, which is part of the Domaines Barons de Rothschild empire. This tiny property makes less than 5,000 cases of dessert wine each year, with prices kept low because it is aged only 16 to 18 months in used oak barrels. Grape varietals are 80 to 90% Semillon, 10 to 20% Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.
Today this wine is showing its youth, with lots of honey sweetness, crisp apple, and a lasting, orange blossom, sugary finish. Lots to like, but it’s short on balance, a compilation reel of fruity dessert highlights instead of a nuanced blend. What’s lacking of course is the austerity that great Sauternes has — floral notes, old wood, and golden richness are largely absent here.
B / $25 (375ml bottle) / lafite.com