Two sweet, and two strong

2000 Ch Rieussec (Fargues, Sauternes) 13.5%
1999 Ch Coutet (Barsac, Sauternes) 13%
These were served as a pair (masked). The first wine had more of a copper colour, but with definitive Sauternes character – vanilla, cumquat, wax, honey, bitter orange and citrus rind. It seemed ripe, ready, and enjoyable. 2000 was a wet year with a small crop – 65% Semillon, 24% sav blanc, 11% muscadelle.
Drink to 2025, and 92 points

The second wine also seemed typically Sauternes, albeit with less overt acidity. Pale orange colour, melon and tropical pineapple were its key features. This was also ready, but in a subtler style than the first wine. Sound, correct but few thrills. 75% Semillon, 23% sav blanc, 2% muscadelle.
Drink now, 90 points

I (correctly) guessed both wines were from the mid to late 1990’s, and from “lesser” years.

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Belated odds and ends

2007 (Forstmeister Geltz) Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett AP #8 8%
Mosel. Very good cork. Pale lemon colour, Tropical fruits, petroleum, lime, mint and plentiful spices. Brisk, round, yellow-flesh stonefruits on palate, with a touch of oily smoke and wax. This is light bodied, but the flavours linger strongly.

Drink to 2025 (easily) and 91 points

1981 and 1990 Chateau Rieussec
Sauternes, and predominantly (>90%) Semillon. From a generous friend, steady conversation over a terrific meal made note-taking problematical. However, the 1981 was paler and presented classic barley sugar, citrus peel and marmalade flavours, lighter flavours (as the year was not strongly botrytised); the 1990 was richer, with an almost-burnt almond, orange, honey and spices – altogether in ripping form. Depending on cork representativeness, the 1981 has seen better days, while the “younger” wine was terrific, and if you have any, get stuck in for a hedonistic ride.

No scores, but what a fantastic experience!

2002 morris vp

2002 Morris Vintage (Fortified) 19%
Acceptable cork. Readers know my esteem for the Morris fortifieds – Topaque and Muscats, plus fascination for the Rutherglen reds (especially Durif), but occasionally Shiraz and the odd Sparkling red. 

I’m baffled that the “current” release of the Morris VF at cellar-door is the 2008 – its price a derisory $25. Later releases (some with Durif, Touriga, etc) have looked very swish at wine shows – as has the continued excellent form of the Pfeiffer “Christopher’s Vintage Fortified”.

100% Shiraz, this wine’s label boasts assorted trophies and gold medals. Density, dark cherry, blueberry, camphor, chalk. Fresh and a good meld of fruit sweetness and spirit. Small berry flavours abound and the finish is appropriately quite dry. Sampled over three days, my score varied between 92 and 94 points so…

Drink to 2035, 93 points.

1997 Ch Rieussec 14%

It’s startling to recognise the abundant fruit power this wine style can possess. From the website, its composition is around 95% Semillon, 4% Muscadelle, and a squiggle of Sauvignon Blanc. The typical treatment is 18-26 months in oak (approx. 50% new). And the wine has just soaked up this oak, and is bursting with fruit vitality.

1997 ch rieussec

The cork has performed its task.

This wine is drinking superbly. Deep, bright gold in colour, one can luxuriate in apricot, citrus peel, lime, quince, vanilla, and light honey and almond. Apple and raisin appear on the viscous palate, joined by barley sugar, sweet spices and lime.  The wine is resoundingly fresh, obviously complex, and lingers effortlessly. Sweetness and acidity are highly harmonious here.

Drink to 2030 (but why wait?) and 96 points.