Pinot Noir from the main regions (Jason and Mary Ellen's House): Pop and pour, drank a small glass at the end of a wine dinner. This wine has the light delicious elegance that I've often found in Yquem. It simply has a life of its own, and makes you want to keep taking another sip. It is hard to put down. The complexity on this bottle was better than one 6 months ago, but it is still clearly a baby. Nice spice, a great balance between acidity and sweetness. If this wine does evolve in the same way that the 1988 and 1990 have, it is going to be a rockstar in 10 years.
From a 375. Golden-orange color, notably deeper than my last bottle 3 years ago; nose is aromatic, with saffron, spices, orange peel, orange blossom, dried apricot, aromas have excellent depth and complexity; palate is full bodied, sweetness is present but has great freshness throughout with almost slight minerality, medium-plus acidity, orange, caramel; finish is medium-long. Compared to my last bottle 3 years ago, this has integrated very nicely and now shows its potential right out of the bottle. It is a superb example of the Rieussec style: Rich, unctuous, complex, and deep, but at its best has balancing acidity and never feels over the top. It still has some room to improve, in particular a bit more complexity and dynamic flavors on the palate and a tad bit more length on the finish, though I expect this will improve over days. Excellent now, though it will improve for decades. 95-97 Day 2: Similar with minimal changes, still excellent with lots of potential ahead. If anything this is drinking even a bit younger than yesterday (much less caramel), though still well integrated and complex. Day 4: Similar, slightly more mature, slightly higher alcohol than before. Slight glue on the palate. Day 6: Definitely not more advanced than Day 4, maybe even closer to day 2. Still has great complexity on the nose. I think temperature also really changes how this wine shows... not too cold and not too warm is key. This is an excellent Rieussec, but at this point it is so complex to be almost cerebral (though still obviously enjoyable), different from the 01 Suduiraut that is wonderful in a much more hedonistic way.
Dinner in Orlando (Robert's House): Delicious, but flawed (in a sense). Just didn't have the acidity you'd hope for from a top-tier 2001 Sauternes. Lots of pineapple, peach, mango, & cream. I've had this wine in the past and it was a showstopper - so I think this bottle was somehow off.
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(Chateau Rieussec) From a half bottle. A gloriously deep and yet vibrant golden hue in the glass. First impressions are of honey drizzled over oranges, with stronger botrytis elements becoming apparent with a little air, including some fleeting touches of caramel, alongside pistachio nuts. The palate is divine, although rather soft at present it still seems to maintain a splendidly detached, lightfooted character as it dances across the palate. It has finesse, very nicely polished flavours of honey and nuts, backed up by a most wonderful bitterness and grip which lends the wine true status. Elegant, substantial yet harmonious, this is a superb effort, very stylish and also broad and fabulously long. Stunning; what a shame...I only have another ten halves left!
(Rieussec) White flowers, honey, bright tangerine, marmalade and botrytis. The palate just had it all going on. Opulent and rich with unbelievable texture. Great acidity and explosive finish. Easily the class of these.
(Chateau Rieussec Sauternes) From a half bottle. Without doubt probably the most talked about wine of this vintage, thanks to an excess of pointy awards. Prices have rocketed. This has a glistening, honey-gold hue. The nose is very fine, with a palpable vibrancy, the freshness of oranges and blossom and freshly scraped vanilla pod, intermingled with chalky, minerally botrytis. Immediately apparent on the palate is a beautifully plump texture, its creamy weight infused with honey, mineral and botrytis richness. This has patent intensity, but also has a divine integration and is very finely poised. And it is very, very long. This is remarkable, and has amazing potential for the cellar. I understand completely why this wine has received such accolades, and I look forward to drinking the rest of my case over the ensuing years.
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