1988 Rieussec, Sauternes

SKU #970062 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted in Sauternes with Charles Chevalier, the 1988 Rieussec is a vintage that Chevalier himself claimed to be his favorite. I can understand why. It has an unerringly youthful bouquet with vibrant citrus fruit, wild honey, mandarin and mineral scents, a bouquet that seems to have electricity flowing through it. The same can be said for the palate that is full of tension and vigor, almost clinical in terms of focus with alluring viscosity and wonderful length. This bowled me over with its charm and breeding. Hunt a bottle down and share with your best friends—this is a superlative Rieussec, one of the best produced. Tasted April 2016. (NM)  (1/2017)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep, oaky aromas of honey, coconut, vanilla and creme brulee Sweet and plump in the mouth; the flavors of coconut and tropical fruit are initially dominated by spicy oak notes. Finishes with slight heat (the alcohol is a relatively high 14.7%) but also excellent persistence of flavor. This showed more development of flavor as it opened in the glass. (ST)  (8/1998)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A beautiful, fresh and elegant Sauternes, with apple pie, lemon and candied apple on the nose. Full-bodied, with bright and clean aniseed, apple and apricot flavors. Medium-sweet and a crisp finish. (JS, Web-2009)

Decanter

 A reference vintage for Rieussec played with an element of risk. Charles Chevallier stopped the harvest on 4 November to start 10 days later on 16 November, finishing on 18 November. Now an incredibly elegant wine; fresh and balanced with a linear purity of fruit. The palate has a delicate harmony, the fruit and botrytis still apparent, the acidity adding vitality and life. 17.5/20 points  (3/2009)

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Varietal:

Semillon

- 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.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

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Specific Appellation:

Sauternes

- View our bestselling Sauternes.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.7