Château Rieussec has a storied history, beginning several centuries ago with the Carmelite monks. The same order that gave its name to Les Carmes Haut-Brion owned Château Rieussec until the French Revolution, when the property was confiscated and sold as a national asset. Today it belongs to Domaines de Baron de Rothschild. The group purchased the estate in 1984, and, as they have been known to do, invested heavily in the vineyard and the cellar. Thanks to this shot in the arm, Rieussec is now at its greatest height.
In the cellar, manager Charles Chevalier crafts striking wines from a combination of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. The Grand Vin is consistently among the most concentrated and viscous wines in Sauternes; expect exotic apricot, spice and honey character and great depth of flavor. The vineyard is of ample size -- 93 hectares -- providing a large enough harvest for a second wine, Carmes de Rieussec, as well as a dry white, R de Rieussec. All together, production totals about 10,000 cases per year.