Carmes de Rieussec 375ml Sauternes 2011


The wine is lighter, fresher and more approachable than the Grand Vin. It is often exceedingly good value too.

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Confiscated during the French revolution, this Chateau was passed between owners until the Barons de Rothschild bought it in 1984. This is now one of the largest vineyards in Sauternes but has some very illustrious neighbours; d’Yquem and de Fargues. The vineyard is planted to 90% Semillon, 7% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Muscadelle. Harvest is done over 6-8 weeks with multiple passes through the vineyards to get the best fruit. This is the second wine of the estate with the name paying homage to the founding Carmelite monks. The wine is lighter, fresher and more approachable than the Grand Vin. It is often exceedingly good value too.

Sauternes – The undisputed headline act when it comes to sweet wines. Using thin skinned white varieties and having adequet rainfall and humidity in the vineyard means the noble rot botrytis cinerea can take hold and dehydrate the grapes on the vine. Taking away moisture but leaving sugar, acid and flavour behind. The resulting sweet wines are thick, intense and structure. The balance of acid and sugar make these wines able to evolve over many years. The great wines are some of the most expensive in the world.

Semillon – A somewhat shy variety that is most famous for balancing Sauvignon Blancs overt tendencies in table wines and sauternes styles. It found a home in the Hunter where the early picked wines can live for 50 years.

Sauvignon Blanc –  Hero to many, weed to many more. Sauvignon Blanc sure does divide people. The pure expression of Sauvignon fruit is a stunning and exuberant array of tropical fruits with ripe herbs and plant material. It excels in the chalk, clay and sand of the Loire as well as the wonderful vineyards in Bordeaux for dry white and Sauternes production where Semillon curbs its outgoing nature.

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