A couple recent wines (2003 Rieussec, 2002 Neiman Cellars)

  • 2003 Château Rieussec - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (3/4/2016)
    Medium gold color, looks just like apple juice. Nose is honey with a squeeze of orange rind.

Very thick, viscous and mouth coating. Honey, accented with orange and butterscotch. Only moderate sweetness and no significant botrytis. While, quite delicious, it suffers from a lack of acidity and begins to feel heavy; a little goes a long way. Paired wonderfully with foie gras. Had some from another bottle the same evening and there was a bitter streak that wasn’t present in my bottle. (91 pts.)

  • 2002 Neiman Cellars Red Wine Caldwell Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (3/3/2016)
    Dull magenta colored with very faint bricking at the edges of the rim. Nose is very interesting in that it seems to be constantly changing. Initially smells very much like a CS – red and purple berries, graphite, and a faint green note that waffles between green pepper and dill. With some air some black pepper appeared on the palate, but it was unfortunately faint, and replaced by a sweet note.

The flavors come across as a big Bordeaux that is made in a slightly new world style. There’s a good amount of red and purple berry fruit, with a significant green, leafy note indicative of Cab Franc (unfortunately, I could not locate percentages for this vintage) and the smallest hint of tobacco. The tannins are well integrated, but they make themselves known on the finish. Good complexity; the abundant fruit and structure suggests that this should last at least another 5-6 years. Drink or hold. (91 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

That 2003 is sort of like their 1990

Thank you for your notes!

I have only had a Rieussac from '77. It was surprisingly fresh.

Was the '03 affected by the heat wave of the vintage?

The fruit is maybe a touch dried, owing to the heat, but I think the grapes probably got a bit ripe, lessening the acidity (I’m speculating). It was quite good/typical flavor wise, albeit without much botrytis, and I’m tempted to reload, since I can find this at a very agreeable price locally.

Thanks for the notes!

Have a 750 of the 2001 Rieussec that I plan on holding for quite some time…although I’m damn tempted to coravin a small taste.

I had the 2001 Rieussec not long ago, thanks to the incredible generosity of Bobby Alfert. Similar to the 2003, but with significantly more botrytis and an even heavier mouthfeel. The notes are on here if you look (on my phone so can’t link my note).

Incidentally, the best Rieussec I’ve had is the 71 and the 81 is lined up for some special visitors who are coming to Chicago soon.

Gotta say man - loved that thread and even though I’ve never met met any of you guys or your (very “accepting” significant others…which is exactly how I feel about my poor wife)…I felt like I would have been right at home with the type of banter that ensued.

All that being said- did you like the 2001? Totally get its a big-ass wine, but overall did you enjoy it? You mention substantial botrytis but light on acid, so wasn’t sure your final call.


2001 is on another planet.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the 2003…but the 2001 is one for the ages.

That’s kinda what I’m expecting. Need to get a hold of a half bottle to test the waters a bit.

I liked the 2001. Full stop. A few points to note; we had the Rieussec after a night of excess – great wine and company. In that setting I think we would have been predisposed to really love the wine, though perhaps some subtlety would have been lost. I thought it suffered from a lack of acid and its mouthfeel was even bigger than the 2003, so while it gained “points” for complexity/botrytis, it lost some for the lack of balance.

I should mention that the one and only time I’ve had the 2001 was that night with Bobby, et al, and I’ve found bottle variation in the past. I didn’t feel like the 2001 was worth anything near double hundos. The 2001 D’Yquem, otoh, was really lovely and much more silky on the palate. A bit more pricey though!

Yep, makes total sense and I appreciate the feedback.

I’ve heard great things about the D’Yquem and would love to try it…but like you said…kinda pricey.

I think so, Drew. My experience with about 6 of these has mirrored Corey’s notes. I’m kind of glad that I’m through all of my stock from that vintage. In years like 01, 07, 09, Rieussec can be dreamy stuff…


Mike, I think the 2003s will last a good while, though I question how much upside you gain from holding longer. They’re drinkable now and priced at about the same as current release. Not too shabby.