2005 Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes

SKU #1039094 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 While this wine is not powerful, it has elegance to go with the ripe fruit, fresh honey, lemon flavors and a core of dense dryness. With this vintage, Rayne Vigneau seems to be back where its vineyard, next to Yquem, suggests it should be.  (6/2008)

92 points Wine Spectator

 right aromas of lemon, spice and honey follow through to a full body, with loads of dried apricot, honey and nutmeg. Very sweet and very lively. An intense wine. The best from this estate in a long time. Best after 2012.  (3/2008)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Rayne-Vigneau displays superb levels of botrytis on the complex bouquet – dried honey, dried quince, apricot blossom and minerals. The palate is very well-balanced with a little more race than the 2004. It is not a powerful or ambitious Sauternes, but it is well behaved with an almost understated, pure, mellifluous finish. This is very seductive, though it should reward cellaring for several years. Drink now-2028. Tasted April 2013. (NM)  (6/2013)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full yellow-gold. Strong nuts and marzipan on the nose. Very sweet, even a bit exotic, on the palate, with rather suave flavors of yellow fruits and nutty oak. Still a bit youthfully wound-up on the back end, but this moderately rich wine has the balance to evolve positively in bottle. 89(+?) points.  (7/2008)

K&L Notes

Barrel tasting: Cinnamon aromas that follow to the palate. Mid-weight on the palate. Nice. 1/2* (Clyde Beffa, K&L Bordeaux buyer)

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Price: $29.99
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- A rich, viscous, full-flavored but subtly-scented and botrytis-prone white grape, Sémillon reaches magical heights when infected with "noble rot" and combined with even small amounts of the aromatic and high-acid Sauvignon Blanc to make Sauternes, one of the world's most revered and longest-lived wines, and in the sweet wines of surrounding regions like Barsac. Sémillon's most famous incarnation is in the wines of Château d'Yquem, one of the world's most expensive wines, and one that has been known to evolve for centuries. It frequently dominates, but not by much, in the oak-aged whites of Bordeaux's Graves and Pessac-Léognan, creating honeyed and viscous wines that are unlike any others. Elsewhere in Bordeaux and around France it takes on a supporting role in the wines of Entre-Deux-Mers and the Médoc. While planted throughout France, Europe, California and Washington, Sémillon's role as underling usually keeps it out of the spotlight with a few winery-specific exceptions. However, the grape is allowed to shine in Australia's Hunter Valley, where it is used to make an elegant dry wine often called, perplexingly, Hunter Valley Riesling. It also makes some incredible dry, oaked wines from the Barossa and lovely stickies in the style of Sauternes.


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