Day 1: Pnp 375ml, noticeably better than the '03 Raymond-Lafon I had few weeks prior. Lighter on its feet, good acidity to carry the sweetness without it being overbearing. You get the usual, apricots, peaches, sticky white grape residue, and more. Can't wait to see how this develops on Day 2.
Day 2: Stronger nose compared to Day 1. On the palate, feels more viscous and more of the sugar cane component hitting the palate, less acidity. Not sure if I prefer Day 1 or Day 2. We will see if this gets any better in Day 3. Keep in mind, I am leaving this wine open and upright in the cellar overnight; I am not re-corking it.
Day 3: I am getting a sweeter nose on this one. Beautiful. On the palate, it is more rounded with longer finish than Day 1 and Day 2, but nothing remarkably different. So far, best in Day 3.
Day 4: Sexy. Tastes a bit more floral than before.
Day 5 (Final): Thick. Pretty similar to previous days. There is a sweetness, almost like Korean Pear dipped in honey... ahh I think I got that on the dot.
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(Chateau Rieussec (Sauternes)) The nose here is just as immediately enticing as the other 2003s poured here, all richness and exuberance, but with a certain definition of aroma. There is crunchy, fresh barley sugar along with elements of marmalade, honey and apricot, although there is also a somewhat high-toned suggestion of volatility which presents itself before these other characteristics appear. Coconut macaroon too. The palate carries this volatility through into something of a medicinal feel, the wine showing a burnt-coffee edge alongside the obviously intense fruit. The acidity is on the lower side, especially compared to the Barsacs but there is still great character here. Grippy and substantial finish, although somewhat tempered by some harsh and spiky structural elements on the finish this time. A bit of a rough patch here I think. After 24 hours in the fridge it showed much better, still slightly sweet-confected, but with lots of lovely depth and character.
I've had a propensity toward sweet wines lately (maybe it's the dank Parisian spring (winter?) that has me huddled by the fire in need of dessert wine) but this wine simply cannot be topped for quality and value. You can downplay 2003 all you want but I'm not sure why? If you are into Sauternes and are looking for something to enjoy over the next decade (to avoid the sacrifice of your precious 2001s), I cannot think of a better price/value star than this. It delivers all the secondary quality that this estate has become synonymous with (plus an extra layer of exotic fruit) for a fraction of the 2001's price.
Chateau Rieussec has elevated their status to just below that of Yquem and their 2001 is evidence of how far they've come since the 1970s. The 2003 is nearly the equal of Yquem - if you taste both wines blind, my guess is that half of you will prefer the Rieussec and it's price cannot be topped (Parker actually rated the Rieussec higher).
This parcel has arrived directly from Bordeaux with the finest provenance available (it is not a pre-arrival) - it will be available for local pick up in a few weeks (early May due to posting laws).
(Chateau Rieussec Sauternes) From a half bottle. This vintage has a vibrant, yellow-golden hue which has some promise. It certainly has plenty of youthful character on the nose, which has a floral edge to the honey and pepper-spiced fruit. Deliciously fresh and creamy on the palate, rich, deeply concentrated, with a forceful structure beneath it all. Hugely characterful flavour too. Lots of creamy-oily botrytis in evidence too. Quite grippy. Slightly low acidity, but this still has an adequate structure and backbone. This is impressive wine indeed.
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