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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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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.
Case price (Bottle 12 x 75cl)
Bottle 12 x 75cl
Bottle 6 x 75cl
H/Bottle 12 x 37.5cl
Bottle 3 x 75cl