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Rieussec 2019 - New Packaging

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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Well that is very handy. Thanks for the link. It lead me to this one
https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/ch-rieussec-2011-sauternes

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Having just pulled a mixed case of 2011 Sauternes halves from reserves, including 2 x Rieussec, that’s very good to hear !

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It probably is a bit of desperation yeah. Whatever they’re doing at the moment is clearly not working and they’ve obviously decided that they can’t keep going as is. I don’t think it’s as nonsensical as it looks to go off in such a completely different direction from the rest of the market given the enormous volumes they’re competing with.

I actually don’t hate the new design as much as others seem to, and alienating your current market isn’t as much of a risk if that market isn’t buying anything or waiting for it to go on sale 10 years down the line.

Price point bonkers though, doesn’t make sense to me at all.

My favourite wine of the entire blind tasting of 2011s, including all the famous red first growths such as Chx Lafite, Latour and Mouton, was Ch Suduiraut Sauternes

A wry smile formed on my face. I bought a case of full and a case of halves for less than EP price a few years ago :smiley:

Agreed - I have been buying Rieussec by the case for a long time now. They periodically tried to hold out on price but one way or another market forces prevail and I have never paid more than £35 per bottle DP. With the sumptuous 1999 available at £25 a bottle in bond, the only challenge is to find fellow Sauternes / Barsac lovers to buy by the case… I think Rieussec would be better served by going for a radical pricing strategy into the on trade to build demand for dessert wine. Thrown into sharper relief as I type with a first glass of wine Society Ch Chantegril 2018 beside me - of course less nuanced but such a light clear honey hit at at £15 (?) a bottle. Delicious

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Looks as though the 2019 has now released - 4x 75cl @ £340 IB (£105 per bottle duty paid)

It’s a bold strategy so I’ll be interested to see how fast these 12 cases go….

I have never seen this new packaging in France. Not sure they’d have the nerve. Personally I think it’s a joke. But not a good one.

Certainly seem to be chasing a new market segment with both the design and pricing!!