2010 Ch. d'Yquem, Sauternes

2010 Ch. d'Yquem, Sauternes

White, For laying down   White | For laying down | Chateau d'Yquem | Code: 7813 | 2010 | France > Bordeaux > Sauternes | Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon | Full Bodied, Sweet | 13.5 % alcohol

Prices: 

Bottle £396.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£1,690.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£1,698.00

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

18/20

JANCIS

18.5/20

WA

96-98/100

WS

93-96/100

JANCIS - ‘2010 was a cool year for us.’ Winter and autumn cold, good dry, warm summer. Very healthy grapes, though quite a bit of rain on the flowering, A bit of coulure on Sauvignon so less than usual in the blend, just 13% compared to the usual 20%. Pale gold with slight greenness. Gorgeous, classic nose. Pear juice a go-go. Absolutely stunning freshness as well as all the botrytis. Classic. Real punchy perfect savoury Sauternes. Zesty and lovely with some chew on the end. No shortage of botrytis. Very distinctive and much less sweet than 2009. (155 g/l in 2009, 141 g/l in 2010). Refined finish. Finished 5 Nov. Five passes. Real punch and zest. Grapefruit peel. But not a massive sweet bomb.
Jancis Robinson MW- jancis robinson.com Apr 2011

OTHER - At the first tastings, this vintage was often compared, on account of its liveliness, to the wonderful ’88. The same kind of vibrancy and “nerve” was mingling into the botrytis complexity in a similar way. Now, whilst it has retained all these vibrant qualities, the wine has clearly softened and the comparison should maybe now include a touch of ’89? Whatever, this is a great vintage of Yquem, in a prettier style to the monumental keeper vintages such as 09 or 05.

The style of the 2010 Sauternes wines: From the outset, it was clear that this was going to be another outstanding vintage. The acidities are good but it is the freshness and purity of flavours in the concentration that defines the balance of the vintage. These were clearly going to be superbly pretty wines, all driven by this great freshness of flavour. The concentration is not quite as high as the more massive 09s – generally 125 - 140 g/l rather than 135 – 160, but the balance is perfect.

Since those very first tastings, the wines haven’t changed much. Some have maybe formed a little more middle-weight now, but essentially preserving their lovely softness and clarity. This is the kind of vintage which will be delicious very young but has the inner strength and balance to see it through into long ageing.
2010 Vintage Assessment - Sauternes - Bill Blatch

WA - Picked predominantly over 10 days from October 14, the 2010 d’Yquem has 141gms/L residual sugar and pH 3.80. It is a slow-burner, the nose understated at first but unfurling with each passing moment with subtle scents of freshly sliced apricots, Clementine, clear honey and white flowers. There is an underlying minerality that really defines this bouquet. The palate is similar to the nose, revealing hidden facets with almost each swirl of the glass – orange blossom, limestone, white peach and honeysuckle. This is such a precise d’Yquem; it is after you have swallowed the wine that one comprehends just how brilliant it is.
Neal Martin- Wine Advocate- May 2011

WS - The Château d’Yquem Sauternes 2010, a blend of 87 percent Sémillon and 13 percent Sauvignon Blanc, is tropical and inviting is tropical and inviting, with lush mango, fig and papaya aromas followed by pineapple and creamed banana. The long tangerine finish is flattering and very open now, but the length is clearly there.

2010 was a cool, dry year, especially in August and September, which is unusual for Sauternes, according to Yquem's technical director Francis Mayeur. “The early passes through the vineyard gave us fresh, clean fruit, and then with some rains in early October the botrytis kicked in and spread quickly.” Mayeur’s team made a total of six passes through the vineyard to select botrytized fruit, and he notes the harvest was the latest on record since 1988.
James Molesworth – The Wine Spectator – Top Scoring Bordeaux 2010 – 31 Mar 2011

The Story

Chateau d'Yquem

Producer

Chateau d'Yquem

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.

Grape

Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon

Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon

The blend used for White Graves and Sauternes and rarely encountered outside France. In the great dry whites of Graves, Sauvignon Blanc tends to predominate in the blend, although properties such as Smith Haut Lafite use 100% Sauvignon Blanc while others such as Laville Haut Brion have as much as 60% Sémillon in their final blends. Sauvignon Blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle - if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.

In Sauternes, Sémillon is dominant, with Sauvignon Blanc playing a supporting role - it is generally harvested about 10 days before Sémillon and the botrytis concentrates its sweetness and dampens Sauvignon Blanc`s naturally pungent aroma. It contributes acidity, zip and freshness to Sauternes and is an important component of the blend.

Region

Sauternes

Sauternes is where arguably the world's finest sweet white wines are produced. The Sauternes appellation actually consists of five communes: Barsac, Preignac, Bommes, Fargues and Sauternes itself. Barsac is also an appellation in its own right.

Sauternes literally has an atmosphere different from any of the other major communes. At the southern tip of the Graves,close to the Garonne, not only is the land hillier and decidedly more bucolic but it also enjoys a specific mesoclimate of evening autumn mists which linger until well into the following day, unless burnt off by warm sunshine.

The mists are caused by the cool, spring-fed waters of the Ciron River meeting the warmer tidal Garonne, and the result is an ideal environment for the growth of the mould botrytis cinerea. When its arrival is felicitous, it feeds on the water in the ripe grapes, dehydrating them and leaving sweet, shriveled fruit.

Other regions in Bordeaux (ie Cadillac, Loupiac) produce wines in a similar style from the same method, but none achieve the profundity and complexity of Sauternes.

Recommended Châteaux : Ch. D'Yquem, Ch. Climens (Barsac), Ch. Suduiraut, Ch. Rieussec,  Sigalas- Rabaud, Ch. Coutet (Barsac), Ch. de Fargues, Ch. Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Ch. Doisy-Védrines (Barsac), Chateau Partarrieu, La Tour Blanche

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