Learn everything about Chateau de Rayne Vigneau Sauternes, Premiers Crus with wine tasting notes, wine and food pairing tipss, the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Rayne Vigneau History, Overview
You might find it hard to believe, but 200 years ago, Chateau de Rayne Vigneau was said to be the second best producer of Sauternes. Only one vineyard was considered to make better Bordeaux wine in the appellation, Chateau d’Yquem!
Chateau de Rayne Vigneau takes its name from the phonetic sound of one of its early owners, Baron de Rayne and another owner, Etienne du Vigneau. At the time of the 1855 Classification, the estate was known as Chateau Vigneau. Chateau de Rayne Vigneau remained in the hands of de Rayne’s ancestors from the 18th century until it was sold in 1961 to Georges Raoux.
George Raoux resold it a decade later to the Cordier Mestrezat group who later sold it the French bank, Credit Agricole, who own numerous Bordeaux estates as investments, including Chateau Meyney in St. Estephe and Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse in Pauillac.
In November 2015, it was announced that Credit Agricole sold a large stake in Rayne Vigneau to Tresor du Patrimoine through their wine subsidiary Vins et saveurs de France.
Tresor du Patrimoine is a massive French company that is one of the biggest producers of foie gras. It is hoped that they might eventually sell and package foies gras and Rayne Vigneau, which is a natural combination.
Chateau Rayne Vigneau Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
Chateau de Rayne Vigneau is a large, 84 hectare Sauternes vineyard planted to 74% Semillon, 24% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Muscadelle. The terroir is sand, clay, gravel, rocks and stone soils located on a plateau. The vineyard reaches 75 meters at its peak, giving it one of the highest elevations in the Sauternes appellation.
Vines average close to 30 years of age here. Interestingly, the terroir is littered with occasional deposits of semi-precious stones! The vineyard is situated next to Chateau d’Yquem, so as you can imagine, they are in a very fine location.
To produce the wine of Chateau Rayne Vigneau, after pneumatic pressing, the wine is vinified in 50% new, French oak barrels. The wine is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for an average of 18 months. On average, close to 10,000 cases of wine are produced here each year.
There is a second wine, Madame de Rayne. In addition, the estate also produces Clos l’Abeilley, which is made from a parcel selection. Chateau de Rayne Vigneau also produces a small amount of wine from 100% Semillon, Gold de Rayne and a dry, white Bordeaux wine, Le sec de Rayne Vigneau, which comes from a specific 7 hectare parcel of 100% Sauvignon Blanc.
When to Drink Chateau Rayne Vigneau, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Rayne Vigneau can be enjoyed on the young side with no decanting. In fact, it is delicious and quite a treat young, even on release! However, like all great wines, Chateau Rayne Vigneau is much better with age, and does not reach full maturity until it’s between 12-30 years of age, or in some years, perhaps even longer in the best vintages!
That is when the magic happens! But that is unrealistic for 99% of the world’s wine drinkers. So, enjoy it at any special occasion that calls for it.
Of course the wine is sweet, but there is so much, incredible, racy acidity, the wine always feels fresh, and never cloying, which makes it quite fun to enjoy young. With Chateau Rayne-Vigneau and frankly, all Sauternes, temperature is more important than decanting.
Serving Chateau Rayne Vigneau with Wine and Food Pairings
Chateau Rayne Vigneau is best served at 14 degrees Celsius, 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. The wine will naturally warm in the glass, while it develops more aromatic complexities and fleshes out.
Chateau Rayne Vigneau can be served with seafood dishes, especially shellfish, lobster, crab and oysters on the half shell. Foie gras is a perfect pairing with its natural sweet, salty and savory characteristics. Chateau Rayne Vigneau can also be paired with roasted chicken, veal and pork dishes that are either spicy, or prepared with a touch of sweetness.
Spicy Asian cuisine, raw fish, like sushi or sashimi, and cheese, both hard and soft also make great pairings with Chateau Rayne Vigneau.
Chateau Rayne Vigneau is one of a handful of moderately priced, Sauternes producers that understand the need to create new markets. To help promote their brand, they recently began selling their wine in individual, 100 ml test tube packages.
The estate has also been focusing on the quality of their wine. Starting with the 2005 vintage, the wines at Rayne Vigneau have become much more interesting to lovers of Sauternes. The owners have started to turn everything around for the better.
Château de Rayne-Vigneau Wine Tasting Notes
14 Vintages 37,272 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2018||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
With a range of flowers and orange fruits, you also find vanilla bean and honey notes. A bit light, you can enjoy this young with savory dishes.
1,431 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
|2017||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
The floral notes on the front end add to the pineapple, Mandarin orange and apricot to create the base of the wine. Take all that, drizzle it with honey and vanilla, add a liberal dose of acidity, shake, stir and serve for a delicious indulgence.
1,615 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
|2016||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
White peaches, flowers, vanilla, apricot, pineapple and honey tones pop as soon as the cork leaves the glass. Sweet, but with ample to provide lift, allowing you to enjoy the array of tropical fruits, vanilla and honey in the finish.
0 Views Tasted Jul 11, 2020
|2015||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
With a strong floral note that adds to the candied orange, apricot and honey coated pineapples in the nose. Lush, sweet and rich, with a blast of acidity that really keeps this going. Over the past few years, this estate has really upped their game. 92 - 94 Pts
2,284 Views Tasted May 3, 2016
|2013||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
The wine was very tight and will not a lot of coaxing, air and probably bottle age before it begins to display its charms. You could easily sense the sweetness, honey, vanilla and oak, but everything was round at this point, quite tightly.
2,183 Views Tasted Feb 1, 2016
|2012||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
Light in color, fruit, density and flavor, this was more like a charming, sweet, aperitif, than a Sauternes. This is the type of sweet wine that pairs quite well with lightweight, but tasty, savory courses or even oysters. This needs to be drunk on the young side.
2,010 Views Tasted Nov 25, 2016
|2011||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
With a strong floral note that adds to the candied orange, apricot and honey coated pineapples in the nose. Lush, sweet and rich, with a blast of acidity that really keeps this going. Over the past few years, this estate has really upped their game.
2,444 Views Tasted May 25, 2016
A very nice sweet treat here, with loads of fresh, sweet, ripe, honeyed tropical fruits and vanilla. There is ample freshness in the finish to give all the sugar a lift.
3,624 Views Tasted Feb 12, 2014
|2010||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
Opened to celebrate International Sweet Wine Day, May, 8, the wine is young, medium bodied, fresh, sweet, vibrant and leaning a bit to the orange, apricot, nectarine, tangerine side of the style range, all coated with honey as expected. There is a solid sensation of sweetness, but the acidity, is sharp, presented and accounted for.
3,573 Views Tasted May 9, 2016
|2009||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
Medium bodied, with good, fresh acidity, honeyed tropical and orange fruits, vanilla and floral notes. Forward, sweet and easy to drink, enjoy it now, if you like more tropical tones. Age it for a decade if you prefer more caramel and custard in your glass.
3,795 Views Tasted Nov 12, 2015
|2007||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
Apricot, orange, citrus, honey suckle and overripe tropical fruit, lush textures and a sweet, honey coated citrus and tropical fruit finish, good acidity, freshness and length.
3,960 Views Tasted May 20, 2012
|2003||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
For some reason, I seldom taste this wine, which is a shame as it can be quite good and sells for a fair price. Lush, juicy layers of overripe pineapple, lemon rind, apricot and marmalade drenched in honey, topped with coconut and vanilla and honeysuckle are found in each sip, swirl and sniff.
4,623 Views Tasted May 22, 2013
|2001||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
Ready to go. The wine is medium bodied, fresh and focused on its tropical, pineapple, apricot, tangerine, honey and spicy personality. While it lacks the weight of the top wines from the vintage, the acidity is good, giving the wine the right amount of freshness and sweetness to make it fun to taste today. It is not a wine I'd wait for miracles to happen in the bottle however.
2,244 Views Tasted Nov 1, 2016
|1937||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
Amber in color, this stunner offered a perfume of caramel, butterscotch, pineapple upside down cake, burnt, candied orange rind and honey. With intensity, acidity, sweetness and length, this was stunning! If you see this at auction, and it has good provenance, try and buy it!
1,288 Views Tasted Apr 22, 2017
|1926||Château de Rayne-Vigneau (Sauternes)|
More alive than Julius Caesar, but not by much. Murky in color, with very little discernible fruit, there was not a lot of pleasure in this overly acidic wine. If this wine was a person, we would have called 911, hoping to revive it before it was too late.
2,198 Views Tasted Oct 28, 2012