A Sauternes with a keenly precise structure
1st Grand Cru, Chateau de Rayne Vigneau is a white wine produced in Sauternes. The vineyard covers a vast 84 hectares, all one parcel, with vines that are an average of 30 years old. The terroir is a sub-soil of sandy gravel with clay beneath it. Wine is aged for 18 months in barrels (30% of which are new). The 2016 vintage is a blend of 80% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc and a very small portion of Muscadelle.
2016's weather was quite complicated before a wonderful finish. The mild winter preceded a fairly but miraculously sunny spring. The terroir allowed the vine to fight the summer drought, while the rain in September brought fog and botrytis. The harvest took advantage of ideal conditions with perfect botrytis. The harvest ended on October 28 just after the frost.
Chateau de Rayne Vigneau 2016 has a chiselled nose that develops aromas of passion fruit and orange blossoms. The mouth is intense, fresh and subtly resinous. This powerful wine is balanced thanks to its precise structure. There are intense flavours of grapefruit, pineapple, bergamot which reveal the purity of the botrytis.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2016 Rayne-Vigneau comes from a Sauternes property that I feel is consistently overlooked in the market. Please don't. This has a very elegant bouquet with superb delineation: pure botrytised fruit that has a floral tincture that blossoms with time. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, very fine tension, and quite taut and almost reserved towards the finish, as if biding its time for later when the wine is in bottle. This has great potential. Perhaps not quite there with the outstanding 2015 Rayne-Vigneau, but only a whisker away.