Château de Rayne Vigneau (Premier Grand Cru Classé de Sauternes en 1855) is an exemplary Sauternes and 2003 was a very good year in the region.

Made from 74 % Sémillon, 24 % Sauvignon Blanc and 2 % Muscadelle, the grapes are slowly attacked by botrytis cinerea, or “noble rot”, towards the end of the growing season. They are then harvested in several waves, and picked only when perfectly ripe and botrytised. There is a lot of work involved: depending on the vintage, pickers may need to go through the vineyard between 4 to 8 times. Rayne Vigneau owns a brand new wine press, where each lot, carefully selected, is slowly squeezed. The resulting juice (must) is allowed to settle for 24 hours before being poured into barrels (part of them are new oak) where fermentation will take place. This lasts for between 2 and 4 weeks in a cellar whose temperature is controlled. The wine spends between 12 and 18 months in barrels (50 % of which are new oak), and is then blended and bottled. Delicious.

ABV 14%