Andrew and Howard's birthday dinner: Deep bronze colour. A bouquet of toffee apple, burnt crème brûlée, molasses and apricots. On palate, even though masked, clearly a Rieussec with some age. Powerful, viscous and not at all delicate. Gutsy and weighty. Showing attractive development with the potential to go many more years. It paired beautifully with my crème brûlée. A good, not a great, Rieussec. Lacking the acidity, definition and cut to be a great Sauternes …
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(Chateau Rieussec Sauternes) From a half bottle. This wine has a rich, deep golden hue in the glass. The nose is just fabulous, and the aromas are the epitome of all that is botrytis, with a heady concoction of scents that sit somewhere between lemons, oranges and pineapples at one end, and honey, toffee and caramel at the other. The palate starts off creamy and rich, with a fine roasted orange seam from the botrytis, delightfully bitter grip as offered by a very good Seville orange marmalade, and delicious sweetness. The acidity is fairly muted, but it still has a fine freshness, and it finishes with a wonderfully complex twist which goes on and on. An excellent wine which is showing very favourably compared with my last tasting, two years ago. If you have any, get one open now!
(Chateau Rieussec Sauternes) From a half bottle. A really quite deep, vibrant gold hue evident in the glass, and certainly has a little more depth and intensity than the preceding vintage. On the nose it first shows a little volatility, fleetingly reminiscent of the 2001 Suduiraut (although nowhere near as pungent), but what this wine really displays is a huge depth. There is a pile of nascent flavour here, especially in comparison to the 1998. On the palate it has richness and fat, carried in a well composed fashion. There is good fresh acidity, laced with a little volatility although this does all blow off with just a little time. It has a lifted, bright style, but is full of grip and is very firmly put together. A wine full of promise, showing power now, but with great potential for the future. This is indeed an excellent 1999.
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