Dinner with Mrs L's lawyer girlfriends + other halves (At home, Hong Kong): I think I'm warming to this mature version of the 2001 Rieussec, which I had previously enjoyed in its vibrant, lively youth. As it now gets older, it is certainly getting richer (as I hope we all shall) and that is really no bad thing. It may well have grown heavier and more unctuous on the palate, but this is also balanced by the greater complexity of the wine, with delightful charcoal, lemon zest and dried orange peel notes adding just the right tinges of crispness and bitterness to balance the sugar. It certainly went down well with the crowd -- already well oiled, these folks still managed to demolish three half bottles faster than you could say "that's all, folks"
A welcome treat that was brought gratis by a friend to a wine event. Consumed a glass over about an hour. The nose is as good as you'll get from Sauternes. I found the palate to be a bit disjointed, overly sweet, quite spicy and a little clunky. At this stage it lacks some acidity. Nonetheless, this is a top-level Sauternes, and I'm confident it will integrate in time.
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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) A half-bottle of 2001 Rieussec rounded out our evening. I generally don’t do dessert or dessert wine, as I find the sugar too much for me after a big meal, but I do appreciate the sweet stuff even though my stomach does not. The Rieussec was such a baby. Candle wax was incredibly primary, along with ‘nougat, honeycomb and butterscotch.’ Orange marmelade and apricot flashed sweetness in the nose, along with ‘macadamia nuts,’ musk and more honeycomb. ‘Ocean sea salt and fish’ was the last descriptors to come out of my friend’s increasing comments, and I totally saw them all. In the mouth, the Rieussec was rich, balanced and oily without being cloying and heavy. One could feel the potential
(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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