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Chateau d`Yquem is often described as the greatest sweet wine in the world. After centuries of family ownership, Yquem was finally sold in acrimonious circumstances to Louis Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy in 1999. However, its former owner and director Alexandre de Lur-Saluce remains in charge.
Yquem is located on the highest hill in Sauternes and enjoys the best growing conditions in the whole appellation. The 110-hectare vineyard is planted with 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Only fully botrytized fruit is picked by the 150 highly skilled pickers and yields are so low that each vine produces only one glass of wine.
Yquem is fermented in oak barrels (100% new) and is left in barriques to mature for up to 36 months. Intensely opulent when young, Yquem develops an extraordinary complexity and exotic richness when fully mature, with the best vintages lasting for over 50 years. Château d'Yquem is classified as a 1er Cru Classé supérieur.
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Waxed apple skins, lemon pith and gentle florality combine with a wet stone note to give an enticingly fresh punch to the wine. I love the vitality this offers and the palate adds a full, textured, broad and buttery style where the fruit and oak are balanced by a very focused grapefruit like acidity. This is a big wine with a big crunchy finish that keeps the taste buds tingling long after the wine has gone. Excellent weight and lift have resulted in a standout Ygrec, so Yquem have two great wines to boast about this year. On this evidence 2013 is a must buy vintage for those who like their dry white Bordeaux. Peter Newton – Private Account Manager The 2013 Ygrec has a vibrant and complex nose with aromas of nectarine, lemongrass and chamomile. Despite its youth, there is a wealth of fleshy fruit, tropical pineapple and white flower flavours, enhanced by a refreshing acidity with adds a purity to the palate. Perfectly balanced. The subtle smoky musk further enhances the layers and depth of flavour which gently leaves you with a lingering imprint of vivid Sauvignon on your tongue. Although super now, I suspect this will evolve and improve with a further 10 years aging. Laura Atkinson - Private Account Manager
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Bottle 6 x 75cl
Ch. d`Yquem is often described as the greatest sweet wine in the world and who can doubt it when they produce wines like this. With an enticing nose of toasted nuts, vanilla cream and soft orange marmalade the palate is as impeccable as ever.
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Bottle 3 x 75cl
Sauternes has bucked the trend this year by enjoying higher than normal yields, but the drought thickened the skins of the grapes and thus made it harder for the much sought-after noble rot (botrytis) to take hold. However, the long, dry autumn allowed the growers to wait and, when the time was right, they were able to harvest a good crop of beautifully sweet grapes but without huge levels of botrytis. As such, Yquem displays a fabulous clean, pure sweetness, with aromas of citrus peel honey and apricot, and not a hint of any cloying character. The finish is very long and, while not as opulent as 2007 or as profoundly complex as 2001, the wine is very much more in the register of elegance, and thus bears comparison with the lovely 1988.
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Ch. d'Yquem is often described as the greatest sweet white wine in the world; quite a reputation to live up to in a difficult vintage for sweet wines.The 2006 was luscious and rich with lovely tarte aux pommes flavours, sweet pineapple and citrus fruit of great purity. It was well-balanced with beautiful freshness and incredible concentration but perhaps lacking the depth and complexity of better vintages. This will be an early-drinking Yquem with its beautifully pure fruit overriding the botrytis characteristics. It is still the Sauternes of the vintage, but this says more about the quality of 2006 Sauternes than it does about d'Yquem.
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A quiet nose at the start is misleading, as in the glass this opens up magnificently for a wine so young: a dense wave of white flowers, citrus, fine smoke and lanolin. The palate shows the unique terroir of Sauternes, often so shrouded by sugar, this is quite unlike any white Bordeaux I’ve tasted before, with sweet musk, white fruits and flowers, with a dense flavour of honeysuckle, supported by very well integrated acidity, which sweeps into a vivid and lively finish. Excellent now and given the age-ability of Sauvignon, will only get better over the next 10-15 years. Fine Wine Team A dry and zippy white Bordeaux full of pure pineapple freshness on the nose with layers upon layers of lemon and chamomile scents. As soon as you take a sip, there is a lively attack and lots of fleshy Sauvignon character, gently supported by sweet spice from the oak. The acidity keeps this wine beautifully balanced and although it is deliciously fresh now, it will get better and better until 2028 or so. Laura Atkinson, Fine Wine Team Dry white Bordeaux is one of the greatest food-matching wines in the world. When produced by a chateau as great as D’Yquem, it has to be tried. In the 1855 Classification, Ch. d’Yquem was the only chateau to be given the top ranking of Premier Cru Supérieur. Its unsurpassed concentration, complexity and longevity has meant that it has always commanded high prices and huge demand. The estate traces its history to the early 18th century, when Thomas Jefferson notably visited the estate in 1787 and ordered 250 bottles of the 1784 vintage for himself. It is unlikely that the wines at the time were as lusciously sweet as the method for creating sweet wines through botrytis infected grapes had not been developed. In time it became famous for producing probably the greatest sweet wine in the world, however the estate has produced a limited number of dry wines since 1959. A powerful wine, with an inverse blend to the sweet wine, the dry ‘Y’ or ‘Ygrec’ is made with 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. A tiny amount of botrytis is allowed on the Semillon giving an extraordinary depth to the wines. Ygrec is made with the same uncompromising quest for quality as their sweet and is one of the most impressive dry whites to come out of Bordeaux in years.
According to the team at d'Yquem, the 2007 vintage reminded them of a combination of 1997, the legendary 1967 and the stylish 1988. The wealth of flavour on the palate is seamless and completely mouthfilling without yet showing the glorious detail to come, while the finish is sensationally long. This has lived up to every expectation in 2007 and will surely be considered as one of the truly great d'Yquems of all time. While not as majestic as the ethereal 2001 it's going to give it a run for its money! ... and it's a lot of money make no mistake. The '07 is expensive but we feel honour bound to offer it as this is one of the greatest wines in the world.
H/Bottle 12 x 37.5cl
Ch. d'Yquem reported 2003 as the hottest year since 1896, the previous hottest being the 1976 which provided a superb wine with excellent botrytis which is now showing at its best. Ch. d'Yquem conclude their report: "This unusual vintage will no doubt remain a benchmark for many years to come. An extraordinary summer, "total" botrytis, and the sacrifice of part of the estate made it possible to harvest grapes with optimum fruit and and concentration thanks to unusually clean botrtization."
"...This shows wonderful aromas of pineapples, apples and lemons with loads of botrytis. Full-bodied, but incredibly refined and long. Superfresh and racy. It goes on and on and on. Fabulous. This has an incredible purity and brightness. Like a perfectly cut diamond." James Suckling - Wine Spectator - Apr-2005
The 2002 Chateau d’Yquem has a delightful bouquet with scents of dried honey, marzipan and melted candle wax. It is not the most complex, but it has very good definition. The palate has a controlled, linear opening with fine acidity and a tightly wound spicy core. This 2002 has a slight bitter edge which lends it race and tension. However, there is a touch of austerity here, as if it is holding something back. You might describe this as a serviceable Yquem: everything in its right place, but refusing to let go. This is a Yquem sans the ambition of other vintages and yet delicious all the same. Drink now-2035. Tasted March 2014. 93/100 Neal Martin eRobertParker.com #213 Jun 2014
"This is a fascinating effort.... ...Its enthralling bouquet of pineapples, sauteed hazelnuts, vanillin, and ripe apricots is breathtaking. Compellingly concentrated, the breadth as well as depth of flavor seemingly know no limits. This full-bodied, powerful, yet impeccably balanced Yquem should provide memorable drinking for 40-55 more years." (98/100 points- Robert Parker Jnr.)
Wow, what a wine! I totally agree with where the Chateau are coming from as I had the same feeling when I tasted the 2001. Definitely worth the wait but all we need to know is the price! So complex and perfectly layered, tropical fruits with the signature marmalade on the finish you really could drink this now. If you have this in the cellar and can be patient then I suspect you will be very happy in about 40 years or if you’re impatient don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed. Ben Upjohn - Fine Wine Sales Manager The long awaited 2011 release certainly doesn’t disappoint and draws inevitable comparison to their faultless 2001. Wondrous flavours; pineapple, peach, mango, orange zest, honey, ginger and blossom. Voluptuous across the palate, multi layered but it is the balance and finesse which is simply remarkable. Precise and fresh, somehow ‘light on its feet’. An ethereal d’Yquem for which the word finesse could have been created. A long future awaits.... Martyn Rolph - Private Account Manager In putting forward our notes on Yquem I can do little better than quote the charming, highly talented winemaker at the property, Sandrine Garbay, who told us that “ it was wonderful year for Sauternes with perfect autumnal conditions for botrytis, or noble rot. Acidities are on the low side but there is a great freshness and purity to the wine”. Little to add, really, but we’ll have a go. The bouquet is very clean and appealing, with notes of stone fruit such as apricot and peach along with some citrus zest. On the palate the sweetness is crystalline and pure, not remotely cloying, and the finish is again wonderfully fresh and enticing. A wine that will come round quite early, I feel, and despite its apparent low acidity it does not feel at all heavy or unbalanced. This was the first Sauternes we tasted but subsequent experience indicated that this will be a year of great finesse and elegance for these wines.
H/Bottle 6 x 37.5cl
The 2002 Ygrec is a terrific effort from manager Pierre Lurton and his staff. A dry wine, brimming with exotic tropical fruit notes, especially pineapple, along with some subtle smoky oak and mandarin orange.
Magnum 1 x 150cl
From the stunningly talented winemaking team at Yquem, this is a dry white made in the classic style of Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, dry with prominent green fruit and a rich underbelly of peaches and cream, this is a wine that is drinking well now or will age well over the next 3-5 years. Mark Ross, BBR Commercial Manager - 11-Nov-2008
Beautifully made, with a gorgeous nose of tropical fruits, peaches, coconut, and apricots. Surprisingly well-integrated acidity, and a seamless, full-bodied power, unctuously-textured; just starting to reveal its complexity and enormous weight.
With a refined fragrance of honeysuckle, citrus peel, and barley sugar, this has very elegant sweetness on the palate but it is not at all blowsy, with good acidity to provide excellent balancing freshness. Not a blockbuster, it is however beautifully harmonious and truly fine, almost Barsac-like rather than Sauternes, with a very long finish. The wine is still undeveloped at this stage but one senses great ageing potential.
Massive, unctous, golden-coloured nectar with a flowery and tropical nose, great complexity on the palate, deep extract and incredible length.
Magnum 6 x 150cl
Jeroboam 1 x 500cl
This is a wine that has undergone a quiet style revolution over the last 20 years since inception in 1959. A blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon, the Semillon was picked with a touch of botrytis in 2014 to add a little additional weight to mitigate the extremely rigorous and vibrant characteristics of 2014 Sauvignon Blanc. The palate of this wine is wonderfully well crafted with the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon notes almost seamless transitioning on the palate. The acidity is equally well dovetailed into the end of the palate ensuring that the finish is really exemplary. Extremely likeable and equally drinkable. Gary Owen - Private Account Manager Precise and clean on the nose with notes of white peach, red apple skin and lemon meringues. Refreshing throughout, hints of botrytised fruit are complemented by its zesty citrus personality. There's much focus here, underpinned by a touch of salinity and lemon flint towards the mouth-watering finish. 2014 Ygrec will make for a fine aperitif before the 2013 d'Yquem. Allow a couple of years for this to flesh out a little, and enjoy from 2017 onwards. Chris Lamb - Private Account Manager
The case contains one bottle each of the following wines presented in a wooden box: 2012 Ch. d'Yquem, Sauternes 2013 Ch. d'Yquem, Sauternes As the only 1er Grand Cru Classé Sauternes estate since the Médoc Classification of 1855, Ch. d’Yquem requires little introduction as one of the world’s longest-lived sweet white wines. Perfectly positioned at the highest point of the 20km strip along the Garonne valley, Ch. D’Yquem overlooks it neighbouring peers with its 100 hectares of 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc vines thriving in their unique microclimate: south facing, warm soils with perfect drainage, optimum conditions for growth of botrytis, and maximum exposure to sunlight and tempering winds. Put simply, Yquem is a phenomenal sweet wine, perhaps the ultimate, which will bring immense enjoyment at any point throughout its life span. Meticulous care and attention is taken with over 50 techniques in the vineyard & winery. These are wines of sheer class and rarity, the epitome of Sauternes. 2013 Ch. d'Yquem, Sauternes Simply put they don’t come much better than this. Yquem sparked my love for wine and my enthusiasm and taste buds have just been refreshed with this delectable 2013. Supremely elegant and effortless it brings an instant sense of calm and relaxation to ones thoughts. Gentle aromas of soft white fruits are complemented by subtle yet vibrant apricot, delicate oak notes and a generous helping of botrytis. Beautifully silky and unforced, there are notes of dried papaya, pear and pineapple here, all cloaked in a thin sheen of honey and caramel that leaves you in an almost zen like state of well-being. The sweetness is perfectly balanced with a fresh streak that also gives rise to an attractive bite of apricot kernel to the long, flowing finish. It perhaps doesn’t quite reach the heights of the remarkable 2001 but it is certainly not far off. Yquem started my love of wine and this confirms just why it did. Peter Newton, Private Account Manager
Special 1 x 150cl
Imperial 1 x 600cl
Breathtakingly complex and vibrant nose of lightly burnt creme brulee, white peaches, apricots, mustard seed and gorgeous light new oak heralds the way to the most magnificent mouth-filling essence. With the texture of melted butter and a perfect balance of precision acidity it feels as fresh,zingy and exciting as any wine you can imagine with a concentration you cant imagine. Total nectar. If the nose and the palate aren't enough to blow you away the 30 minute (at least) after taste is ethereal. Simon Staples - Berrys' Sales Director