The 2017 Carmes de Rieussec is dazzling. Here, too, the winemaking team captured a striking balance of richness and energy. Most second wines from Sauternes these days are light and floral. The Carmes has plenty of those qualities, but it is far from an easygoing Sauternes; rather it packs a serious punch. Lemon confit, passion fruit, exotic flowers and mint meld into the creamy, resonant finish.
A lovely second wine with cooked apples and peaches. Honey, too. Full-bodied, very sweet and bright.
Lemon confit, white flowers and mint are all laced throughout the 2017 Carmes de Rieussec. Fresh and light on its feet, with notable vibrancy, the Carmes hits all the right notes. The balance here is simply unreal, especially for a second wine. Picking a bit earlier and an increased emphasis in freshness is felt throughout the Rieussec range, but it is especially felt in the Carmes, a mid-weight, super-finessed wine that offers tons of depth while also staying light on its feet.
Bright, pale gold in the glass with an effusive nose of honeydew melon, apricots and marmalade, this pure and fruit-driven Sauternes is very enticing on the nose. The palate is honeyed and sweet, but immediately cut by refreshing acidity, giving a very lifted and fleet-footed impression - not cloying in the slightest. This freshness reveals purity of pineapple, heather honey and mango fruits. There is an underlying earthiness of botrytis, but the spices in the background and subtle and integrated. It finishes long and fine, with the focus remaining on the honeyed fruit at the core. A moreish and approachable style.
The 2017 Carmes de Rieussec, which has 100gm/L residual sugar, has a charming, lightly honeyed bouquet that is very pure. The palate is not as viscous as recent vintages that I have tasted, but well balanced with a keen thread of acidity that keeps the finish on its toes. This is a lighter Carmes de Rieussec than recent vintages and should be consumed within five or six years after bottling.
Composed of 94% Semillon, 3% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Muscadelle, the pale lemon-gold colored 2017 Carmes de Rieussec comes bounding out of the glass with rambunctious scents of candied citrus peel, pineapple tart, green mango and fresh apricots with hints of honeycomb, musk perfume and lime blossoms. The medium to full-bodied palate explodes with tropical and stone fruit flavors, offering seamless freshness and a long, honey-laced finish. Yum!