Les Carmes de Rieussec, Sauternes, 2017

Produced by Chateau Rieussec

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Chateau Rieussec

Chateau Rieussec is located in the Sauternes appellation of Bordeaux with the vineyard stretching across 93 hectares of gravelly soils on a limestone base. The grape varieties of Sauternes are grown at Chateau Rieussec with Semillon dominating at 90% and smaller plantings of Sauvignon Blanc (7%) and Muscadelle (3%). Traditional techniques from Sauternes are used and the harvests are done by selective pickings depending on the ripeness of the grapes and evolution of botrytis cinerea (noble rot). The vineyard is managed by the Director of the Domaines Charles Chevallier, with the help of cellar master Serge Lagadere and vineyard manager Jean de Roquefeuil.

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Chateau Rieussec

Bordeaux

Undoubtedly the most well-known fine wine region on the planet, the French wine region of Bordeaux spans 120,000 hectares of vineyard and is demarcated by the Gironde Estuary and its two main tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne. The region is divided into the Left Bank, for vineyards located on the left bank of the Garonne River, and the Right Bank, for vineyards on the right bank of the Dordogne. Famous Left Bank appellations such as Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Saint-Estephe and Margaux are well-known for their quality, but value is also found in Haut-Medoc and Moulis. The Right Bank is well known for Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, while the upcoming regions of Lalande-de-Pomerol and Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon should not be overlooked. Close to the city Sauternes and Barsac make some of the world's best sweet wines, while the appellations of Pessac-Leognan and Graves do a fine line in rich reds and full-bodied whites. Red Bordeaux wines are made from a blend of grapes, and the permitted varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and, less commonly, Malbec and Carmenere. Very broadly speaking, Right Bank wines will have a predominance of Merlot, while Left Bank wines will rely on Cabernet Sauvignon as the primary variety in a blend. White wines, both dry and sweet, are made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle.

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Bordeaux

Sauternes & Barsac

If you find yourself at a royal reception or being hosted for dinner by an important dignitary sometime soon, chances are you will receive a glass of honeyed, unctuous Sauternes wine with your dessert. The home of the world's most prized and celebrated sweet wines, Sauternes and Barsac are two neighbouring village appellations located 65 kilometres south of the city of Bordeaux. To make these fickle and expensive wines healthy grapes are left on the vines until they have been infected with Botrytis cinerea, a fungus which dries the grapes and naturally develops the sugars. Weather conditions sometimes make this infection impossible - in 2012, the world's most famous sweet wine producer, Chateau d'Yquem, produced no wine at all. Wines from Sauternes and Barsac are made primarily from Semillon with Sauvignon Blanc used to add freshness and acidity to the blend. Many of the best Sauternes wines can age for many years, and the best wines perfectly balance freshness and sweetness, and power and subtlety.

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Sauternes & Barsac
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