2010 Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

2010 Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

Product: 20108004787
Prices start from £1,400.00 per case Buying options
2010 Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

Description

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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About this WINE

Chateau d'Yquem

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.

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Sauternes

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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Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

An important white grape in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley that has now found fame in New Zealand and now Chile. It thrives on the gravelly soils of Bordeaux and is blended with Sémillon to produce fresh, dry, crisp  Bordeaux Blancs, as well as more prestigious Cru Classé White Graves.

It is also blended with Sémillon, though in lower proportions, to produce the great sweet wines of Sauternes. It performs well in the Loire Valley and particularly on the well-drained chalky soils found in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where it produces bone dry, highly aromatic, racy wines, with grassy and sometimes smoky, gunflint-like nuances.

In New Zealand, Cloudy Bay in the 1980s began producing stunning Sauvignon Blanc wines with extraordinarily intense nettly, gooseberry, and asparagus fruit, that set Marlborough firmly on the world wine map. Today many producers are rivalling Cloudy Bay in terms of quality and Sauvignon Blanc is now New Zealand`s trademark grape.

It is now grown very successfully in Chile producing wines that are almost halfway between the Loire and New Zealand in terms of fruit character. After several false starts, many South African producers are now producing very good quality, rounded fruit-driven Sauvignon Blancs.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate93/100
Jancis18.5/20
Wine Spectator 93-96/100
Other

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate93/100
Served from an ex-chateau bottle. Consistent notes compared to the sample tasted blind at Southwold, the 2010 Chateau dYquem does not quite live up to the billing it showed out of barrel. Certainly it does not possess the concentration of the 2011, the elegance or the symmetry. However, there is fine minerality on the nose and great transparency. The palate is fresh and harmonious, with a fine bead of citrus fruit and a penetrating, spicy finish that offers white peach and honeysuckle notes, yet does not possess anything close to the peacocks tail of the magnificent 2009. Still, this is a fine Yquem. Drink 2017-2040+. Tasted March 2014.
Neal Martin - 26/06/2014 Read more
Jancis18.5/20
‘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
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Wine Spectator 93-96/100
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
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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 Read more