Carmes de Rieussec

Château Rieussec

The vintage
The vintage began well with a mild, dry winter. The fine weather continued into early spring, resulting in an early start to the growth cycle. Day and night-time temperatures then cooled down and, between March and May, there were six occasions when we held our breath fearing a frost.
During this period, the colder and above all drier-than-usual weather slowed down the vines’ growth. After a relatively cold, rainy start, June suddenly changed, bringing an early summer heat wave the likes of which had not been seen since 2003. Fortunately, it was short-lived and the vines, which were catching up in terms of growth, seemed better equipped than in previous years to cope with the heat. Some miraculous rain arrived on 26 July, at just the right moment to trigger véraison (colour change).
This year, as in 2017, the rain in September was very helpful for the botrytis. But the harvests turned out to be more complex, with sour rot threatening the purity of the grapes. We had to sort through the fruit like gold diggers to remove the sour grapes, only keeping the nicely botrytized ones. A window of opportunity arrived on 8 October to pick perfectly balanced grapes with 20% potential alcohol for the Grand Vin, including some superb Muscadelle!
Varietals
Sémillon : 84%
Sauvignon blanc : 12%
Muscadelle : 4%

Tasting notes
Intense nose with beautiful aromatic complexity. Mellow, slightly minty notes promise good balance. On aeration, notes of rhubarb tart and a hint of dried apricots develop.
The palate is well balanced with the wine’s freshness underscored by a pleasant acidity. There are notes of dried fig accompanied again by dried apricot. Subtly toasted oaky notes contribute to the wine’s roundness and smoothness. A freshly-struck-match minerality accompanies the wine for its entire length.