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Chateau Rieussec will make no 2012 vintage

Chateau Rieussec, the Sauternes estate owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) has joined Chateau d’Yquem in announcing that it will not be making a 2012 vintage wine.

Rieussec: ‘2012 was challenging’

DBR director Charles Chevallier told Decanter.com they ‘simply felt there was not sufficient juice of first wine quality to justify the production this year.’

He confirmed however they would be making a second wine, Les Carmes de Rieussec.

‘This is the first vintage that we have made no [first] wine since 1993, but it has been a challenging year and the quality of our bottling must always be the priority.’

In the neighbouring sweet wine village of Barsac the harvest was earlier there is more optimism. ‘2012 is never going to be a great vintage, but there should be some very crisp, fresh and elegant wines that will be very very good in five or six years,’ Max Lalondrelle at Berry Bros told Decanter.com this week.

Bérénice Lurton, owner of Chateau Climens in Barsac, said they had managed to produce some high quality wine.

‘We were able to harvest off and on until 31 October, and are now getting a fuller picture of the vintage after tasting the lots numerous times. We have a complex and elegant 2012 vintage, and feel certain that our biodynamic winemaking helped the vines to stay strong.’

Denis Dubourdieu, professor of oenology at Bordeaux University and owner of Chateau Doisy Daene, also in Barsac, added, ‘Of course things were complicated for sweet wine producers this year as they had to wait through a very dry September for enough rain for noble rot to begin to form, and then had a small window of opportunity before too much rain fell.

‘At Doisy Daene we were able to make a small but good quality harvest, but remember that Barsac is not Sauternes, and different soils react differently.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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