It’s rare for us to secure any of sensational southern French dry white from Chateau Rieussec, which is most famous for its super concentrated, sweet white blends of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc, but it also produces outstanding dry whites, such as this stunning release from the 2020 vintage.
The new 2020 Chateau Rieussec R de Rieussec RRP $54.99 has just arrived in store at Regional Wines & Spirits and we have three precious bottles. It's an iconic French dry white wine that New Zealanders will readily relate to because it's a fleshy, fully bodied blend of Sauvignon Blanc 57% and Semillon 43%, with 20% fermentation in barrels to soften the zesty acidity natural to both grapes in this blend. Flavoursome fresh herbaceous flavours drive this wine's nerve centre while its full body and savoury mid palate add depth and complexity.
Where and what Chateau Rieussec does best
Chateau Rieussec was purchased by Domaines de Barons de Rothschild in 1984 and has since been extensively renovated. The estate is situation on the communes (wine areas) of Sauternes and Fargues, above the Garonne River in an area where cold autumn mornings are often shrouded in mist from the Ceron River, which encourages noble rot (aka botrytis) to do its work of shrivelling the grapes, sucking out their moisture and resulting in superbly concentrated flavours and honeyed like textures in the wines.
This wine is, however, a dry example of how great Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon can be when blended together and given barrel fermentation for complexity, depth and length.