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Chateau Rieussec 1976 Sauternes Premier Grand Cru Classe

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Wine Advocate: 90 Points

This is one of the most controversial vintages of Rieussec. Very dark gold in color, some observers have said it is oxidized and is falling apart. Despite the dark color, the remarkable taste seems to suggest that this wine has a way to go. The huge nose of toasted almonds, caramel, chocolate, and brown sugar does exhibit a trace of volatile acidity, so technocrats are likely to be turned off. Incredibly rich and full bodied, with a honeyed, luscious texture and extremely intense flavors, this exotic, hugely proportioned wine (15% alcohol) can only be served as a dessert. The yield at Rieussec in 1976 was 2.5 hectoliters per hectare, which is approximately one third of a glass of wine per vine. This is a bold, rather overblown style of Sauternes, but I love it.