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Rieussec 2019 - New Packaging

I received a mailshot from another merchant earlier advertising the 2019 Rieussec in its new packaging apparently aimed at encouraging more people to buy full bottles of Sauternes. A squat bottle with a stopper.

What do we think - innovation or aberration? I think both… it’s a bit comical to think you need a stopper included to be able to keep it fresh once opened.

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On second thoughts, I think it’s 100% an aberration. Really awful.

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I got the same email. I don’t quite understand why they are pushing full sized bottles so much? I think halves are perfect for Sauternes.

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Maybe pushing full bottles as a way to try and justify the absurd pricing to go with it?

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More offended by the ‘repositioned’ price than the new packaging. £340 per 4 bottles in bond apparently, who’s buying that?

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Bloody awful design.

The most alluring thing about Sauternes, is its golden colour (or not depending on age) - which you cannot see due to the dark glass. Reflected by a gold capsule and gold text, again missing.

What about the text? Once the label is cluttered with all the stuff required by regulations etc - it will be a mess. But the designers have glossed over that, and done a kiddies cutout of a crown instead. Stopper I quite like, but it’s a bit silly.

Poor choice of design agency… they have re-cast Rieussec, in the agencies own ‘corporate style’ ; great for MUJI, less so for this project.

So… Nul Points.

HOWEVER, it cannot be easy being the 2nd (or perhaps 3rd) best Sauternes in an unpopular market with high production costs. Always the bridesmaid etc. So I can see the reasoning behind a total image re-think & a blatant appeal to the ‘A’ lister’s etc. This worked for David Beckham & Haig Club whisky.

Meanwhile, there will be a clamour to stock up on old style bottles. So that will support R’s price over the next year or so. Clever.

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Twice the price as the similar/better scoring 2016 from the same merchant. Three times (roughly) as the 2007.

For me it’s the biggest no of the year.

Going to be rough on all the poor saps desperate to maintain allocation of Mouton/Lafite if they have to buy a cs/6 or cs/12 of this to get the grand vins.

I particularly liked this line: “the team at Rieussec have undertaken a huge amount of research, and accompanying each bottle of Rieussec is an individual cork to reseal the bottle, ensuring that it remains perfectly fresh”

Literally every bottle of Sauternes I have ever bought comes with an individual cork to reseal the bottle - inside the neck of the bottle.

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Horrible design. Awful price hike. Much better value elsewhere in the appellation. Nothing to see here!

Clearly driven by the owners desire to reposition the brand - Coutet, La Tour Blanche and many others better bets. I hope this doesn’t herald a price strategy that’s generally adopted, though if it is it won’t stick in my opinion.

Not really a concern on a personal level - I own enough Sauternes/Barsac to see me out.

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I’ve said it many times, but at the risk of repeating myself, 500ml is the perfect size for a bottle of sweet wine - it is the standard in Pacherenc du Vic Bilh, and I think Vin de Constance - precisely because it provides 4 small glasses.

I love dessert wines - I probably have approaching 200 bottles kicking around - but it is sometimes a bit of a Herculean task to finish off 750ml, particularly something as rich as Rieussec (ISTR the last time we had the 2009 it was a struggle for 6 of us to finish it at the end of the meal!). If they’re prepared to embrace something as silly as this bottle design, surely they could also embrace something as prosaic as dealing with the problem in a more cerebral manner than a quirky stopper?

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I imagine that Rothschild are playing the market.

The last couple of years have been rubbish in terms of profit: low sales, prices in the doldrums & factored down as far as they dare, production costs are up (no cheap labour available). Yet the fixed costs remain: owners lifestyles require a gold plated return, shareholders need their percentage. The overheads must be massive.

So its a simple choice of evolve or die. Shame they picked a design choice more suited to IKEA & MUJI more suited to mass market commodity.

Fast forward a few years (if that) when R. revert to a ‘classical’ design, and these silly 2020’s bottles fetch a premium for their kitsch appeal.

So now - I hate to say it - is the time to buy!

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Er…I quite like the new design (sorry!)

I also like Muji & Alessi designs so it stands to reason given it was the work of a Swiss design agency called Big Game who work for those brands (so says the FT)

No question it is fresher and less intimidating than the standard bottle design for Sauternes.

I refuse to buy a bottle of Bordeaux that doesn’t have an etching of a chateau on the label. It’s just not…correct.

:wink:

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Totally agree with you regarding Muji (no-brand). Have you seen their flatpack shed?

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Quite a grand shed

Seems to be targeting the “luxury goods” market. Sauternes/Barsac in general represents great value for money. Do wish the W/S would stock more halves/50cls as others have said here.

Used to consider all Sauternes except Yquem as good value but this is crazy. Don’t mind the design, just the inflated price.

For similar money you could buy this mature Climens

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/chateau-climens-barsac-2005

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The new shaped bottle and silly stopper looks like shades of desperation to me. Sweet wine is both too expensive and worst, ‘out of fashion’ in the current climate

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I got an email with this too. Pretentious, ugly, pointless and absurd. Doomed to failure. And the justification is so blatantly dishonest it’s hard to continue respecting this brand. A great pity. Time to snap up a few old vintages (ideally at the previous price) and move on. There are so many delicious alternatives out there, Climens being the first one to mind.

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I ordered this on Monday last week, received it on Thursday. I had been on the hunt for a good back vintage of Rieussec in halves for a while.

In the meantime on Tuesday, the email for the 4 x 75cl 2019’s came out from L&W for £340…

Mine came in at c. 68% cheaper per 75cl DP than the 2019 (not factoring in any storage costs that the 2019 would require)
The 2011’s are also in a format (37.5cl) that suits me and are now 10 years old so should be interesting to open one this festive period.

I now probably have my lifetime supply of sweet wine… (We shall see!)

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It does get a favourable mention here.

https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/2011s-buy

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