2001 Chateau Rieussec

Year: 2001
Appellation: Sauternes
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 100
Wine Advocate: 99
Vinous Media: 95
Jeff Leve: 97
James Suckling: 100
Dessert Wine
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"Like lemon curd on the nose, turning to honey and caramel. Full-bodied and very sweet, with fantastic concentration of ripe and botrytized fruit, yet balanced and refined. Electric acidity. Lasts for minutes on the palate. This is absolutely mind-blowing. This is the greatest young Sauternes I have ever tasted. Best after 2010. 12,500 cases made." (WS)

"A monumental effort, the 2001 Rieussec boasts a light to medium gold color in addition to a fabulous perfume of honeysuckle, smoky oak, caramelized tropical fruits, creme brulee, and Grand Marnier. The wine is massive and full-bodied yet neither over the top nor heavy because of good acidity. With intense botrytis as well as a 70-75-second finish, this amazing Sauternes will be its apogee between 2010-2035." (WA)

"Pale yellow-gold. Superripe nose dominated by honey and marzipan. Hugely ripe and deep, with compelling layers and depth of fruit. Superconcentrated, exotic flavors of apricot, minerals and coconut. Wonderfully chewy, thick and sweet, and extremely long on the aftertaste. A huge wine that will impress early but will really need a minimum of a decade to shed some of its baby fat." (IWC)

"Clearly, this is a rock star in the making! Fresh, ripe, honeyed pineapple, orange, nectarine, toasted nuts, vanilla and coconut aromatics are a treat to swirl and sniff. Full bodied, concentrated and packed with deep, perfectly ripe fruit, this attention grabbing Sauternes is worth having in the cellar. 97 points - Tasted Aug 6, 2010" (JL)

"This is a crazy wine! It’s sweet, but not sugary. Mushrooms, furniture wax, spices then dried oranges, lemons, pineapples, and just a hint of vanilla. Full-bodied, with great density and power, yet balanced and refined. So amazing, but give this five to six years still. Pull the cork in 2016. 145 grams RS." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Nothing in the year’s weather could foretell such a great result. The harvests began in mid-September with a preliminary sorting. And then the perfect scenario played out: light rains came on the weekend of the 22-23 September, and botrytis was absorbed by the grapes, causing rapid and uniform concentration, enhanced by a warm and windy Indian summer. The vineyard went from a golden yellow to botrytis violet in just three days. Under the action of the eastern wind, the botrytis wavered and wrinkled, contracting and concentrating the juices. Harvest was quick and concentrated, on a single pass for certain plots, which is unprecedented at Rieussec. In the early tastings, the nose is powerful and dominated by apricot and candied melon notes. In the mouth the attack is delicate and full of finesse. It then develops in volume and an amazing sensation arises in the mouth. The balance between acidity and liquor is so perfect that the sugar totally disappears. This very rare perception can only be experienced with exceptional Sauternes.