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1997 Rayne-Vigneau Sauternes, Sauternes (375ml)

SKU #170068 93 points Wine Spectator

 Has botrytis character and intense aromas of honey, spice, almond and dried apricot. Full-bodied and very sweet, with a long, thick finish. Best after 2004. (JS)  (1/2000)

88-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Restrained aromas of orange peel, lime, pineapple and spicy oak. Cooler flavors of spice, peach and dried fruits. Very good but not outstanding intensity and concentration. But very well balanced, and persistent on the finish. Honey and marzipan notes give the back end a lovely sweetness. (ST)  (7/1999)

Jancis Robinson

 Oaky still with a kirsch overlay yet great tension too. This wine is absolutely massive, the biggest and most powerful in the tasting. Everything required for a long life is packed into this blockbuster but there is no need to pull the cork for ages. 18/20 points (JR)  (10/2005)

K&L Notes

This is one of the stars of the vintage. Tons of honeyed botrytis and coconut aromas. Excellent balance and a lingering finish. According to Parker: "This stunningly proportioned, beautifully pure wine may be one of the few 1997s that can compete with the top wines from 1990, 1989, and 1988."

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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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