Rieussec 2003

SubregionSauternes and Barsac
ColourSweet White

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Tasting Notes

Score: 96Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006

Space limitations preclude including tasting notes. 2003 is a rich, sweet vintage of powerful, full-bodied wines that possess huge levels of glycerin, alcohol, and residual sugar.

Score: 94/97Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (158), April 2005

It is against my better judgment to taste the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes at such an early age, as I find they typically require at least 12 months to reveal the definition/delineation so essential in these creamy, creme brulee, and honeysuckle-flavored offerings. Nevertheless, because this vintage is so highly regarded, I tasted through most of the top estates. The 2003s appear to be somewhat in the style of the 1990s, with high levels of residual sugar (higher than 2001 for the most part) as well as botrytis, low acidity, and fat, full-bodied personalities. This region’s harvest began extremely early (early September), and was completely finished within three weeks. It does not appear that the nobleness and racy richness of the 2001 vintage will be found in the 2003s, but readers who like the big, flamboyant, over the top style of the 1990s will enjoy the 2003s even more than I did.

Unlike most of my red wine tastings, this offering was only tasted once. Readers should keep in mind that this a very early, pre-bottling judgment from very unevolved wine that is not nearly as defined and easy to evaluate as the reds.

Score: 93/96Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (152), April 2004

Ex-chateau bottle tasted blind in Sauternes. The Rieussec '03 has a strong Barsac like aromas - marmalade, quince, vanilla and coconut aromas that unfold nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a ripe candied, orange peel and dried mango entry. The oak, always a little more prominent at this address, is nicely integrated and the acidity well-judged, although it does not fan out as I was hoping it would on the finish. This is a fine Rieussec, albeit not in the same class as other vintages. Drink now-2024.

Score: 91Neal Martin, RobertParker.com (207), June 2013

Big, rich and juicy. Voluptuous, with aromas of caramel, apple and light tropical fruit. Full-bodied, round and very sweet, with loads of ripe fruit and a long butterscotch and piecrust aftertaste. Viscous texture. Hard not to drink it now. A wonderful sticky. Best after 2010.

Score: 95James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, December 2006

This is a bodybuilder of a wine. Massive. Full-bodied, very sweet, yet you don't feel it. It seems almost tannic, but there is great sweetness and power. Ginger and honey. Fantastic wine.

Score: 95/100James Suckling, Wine Spectator (April 04), April 2004

Some honey tinge. Very intense slight brulée character on the nose. Very, very sweet – one slightly seeks a bit more acid. Still quite simple – barley sugar at the moment. I’d like a little more acid and complexity - but this will surely outlive the reds!

Score: 17Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2008

Deep honey. So deep it almost has no nose. Definite oak on the nose. Lots of syrupy sweetness but a bit of hole in the mid palate. Some charred flavours. Toast. Not fine, though certainly impressive. Very very sweet but still a baby. Aggressively raw and sweet. Slightly hot finish. Not for fans of subtlety.

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, August 2005

Score: 16Farr Vintners, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2007

Deep, mouthcoating and intensely sweet - enormously long across the palate with wonderful fruit, noble rot’s spicy complexity and great definition. Splendid Rieussec. Surprisingly, seems less of a blockbuster and more elegantly cut than its 2001

Score: 18.5Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (1), April 2004

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.