2011 Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

2011 Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

Product: 20118004787
Prices start from £1,290.00 per case Buying options
2011 Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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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

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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate94/100
Tasted blind at the Sauternes 2011 horizontal tasting. The Chteau Yquem 2011 has a complex bouquet, one that is very well defined with hints of petrol infusing the rich honeyed fruit, later melted wax and fresh peach coming through. The palate is well balanced with a strong viscous entry. There is plenty of residual sugar here and I would have preferred a little more acidic bite to offset that rich, decadent finish (this is despite their correct policy of blending non-botrytized berries in order to increase acidity.) Powerful, burly even, I would give this several years in the cellar to allow this Yquem to mellow and enter its stride.
Neal Martin - 28/02/2015 Read more
Wine Spectator96-99/100
The en primeur sample of Château d'Yquem Sauternes 2011 is also presented at Cheval-Blanc. Its usual classic blend of 80/20 Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc captures the beautiful cut and freshness of the vintage, with blazing pineapple, white peach, yellow apple and melon flavors that are remarkably light on their feet. Blanched ginger root, cherry blossom and light citrus notes dance through the finish. The wine is already showing terrific range and purity in a very, very stylish frame. It should give the stunning 2001 and authoritative '09 a run for their money. 
Wine Spectator's 2011 Top-Scoring White Bordeaux
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Read more
Robert Parker97/100
The 2011 seems to be a close cousin of the 2001 and possibly 1988. Light gold, restrained but very pure, noble and intense bouquet of honeysuckle, caramelized apricot, white peach with a subtle hint of toasty oak. It builds slowly but beautifully to a full-bodied wine and long finish. This vintage is about restraint and perfect balance despite the 144 grams of residual sugar. Some vintages are more exuberant or flamboyant-2011 is racy and compelling. Of course these wines can be drunk young, but expect the 2011 to age for 50 -75+ years in a good cellar.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate Read more
Layered, voluptuous wine with great precision and very long finish. Same sugar levels as 2010 and in similar style with lifted acidity. Classic, majestic Yquem crafted to age for decades. Read more
A Sauternes with incredible purity and beauty. Full body, with lovely character of mangos, pineapple, papaya, and honey. Goes on for minutes. The purity in this wine is phenomenal. Spicy with dried mushroom an ash undertones. Gorgeous and clean. Bright. A more balanced 2001?
James Suckling – James Suckling.com

Very ripe pineapples, apricots, mangos and marmalade. Rich, ripe and long. Big, juicy wine freshness on the finish. Full-bodied. There’s 145 gm of residual sugar.
CH’NG Poh Tiong – The Wine Review

2011 Chateau d’Yquem is the sweet Bordeaux wine of the vintage! It’s also a contender for one of the top wines of the entire vintage. This beautiful Sauternes offers intense aromatics packed with overripe pineapple drenched in honey, roasted nuts, apricots, nectarines, white peach, flowers, orange rind and honey in the complex perfume. Thick, rich and intense, with the viscosity of motor oil, along with tropical fruit dripping with honey and the perfect amount acidity to give this elixir life, 2011 Chateau d’Yquem is majestic. I do not think it’s quite at the same level of quality as the legendary 2001, but it’s not that far off. If the wine is offered at a fair price, it’s worth having in your cellar.
Jeff Leve 10 years after its famous older brother and perhaps the harbinger of a new, different sort of cycle, this vintage seems to be a benchmark in the estate’s history…

Although 2001 continues to symbolise the perfection of Botrytis at the pinnacle of its concentration and power, 2011 offers an almost insane precociousness based on the same elegance. Thanks to a month’s advance compared to an average growing season, 2011 enabled us to capture an extremely wide range of flavours and aromas never present in a normal year. The combination of power, complexity and purity immediately impressed the d’Yquem winemaking team. It is archetype of the 21st century d’Yquem, with attractive freshness and an ethereal side that provides a subtle balance to the texture and volume on the palate.

Like its glorious older brother, 2001, it will undoubtedly have an amazingly long life span. However, the very unusual conditions during the growing season mean that 2011 d’Yquem is also well worth discovering quite young in order not to miss any facets of this diamond wines development.
Review from Château d'Yquem Read more

About this WINE

Château d’Yquem

Château d’Yquem

Château d’Yquem is the leading estate in the Sauternes appellation on the Left Bank of Bordeaux. It has long been reputed for making one of the world’s great sweet wines. In the 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines, Yquem was given the lofty title of Premier Cru Supérieur – the sole property at that level. It sits comfortably among the First Growths of the Médoc and their equivalents on the Right Bank regarding its quality and prestige among wine collectors.

The estate has a noble history dating back to the 1590s. By 1711, it was owned by the Sauvage family, French aristocrats whose descendants would remain at the helm for almost three centuries. Yquem is now part of the Louis Vuitton Moët-Hennessy (LVMH) group, owned by Bernard Arnault, one of France’s wealthiest people.

Yquem is located in the heart of Sauternes, at the commune’s highest point and surrounded by many of the appellation’s other leading estates. The vineyard is planted to a majority of Sémillon, supported by Sauvignon Blanc. There are 113 hectares of vines, though only 100 hectares are used in any one vintage.

To make a bottle of Yquem depends on developing botrytis cinerea, the so-called “noble rot”, in the vineyard. Harvest involves up to 200 workers, passing through the vineyard up to 10 times to pick only those berries that have been infected with noble rot. This doesn’t happen uniformly, and it doesn’t happen every year. In some years, no Yquem is produced at all – as in 1964 or, most recently, 2012. Of this approach, President Pierre Lurton says: “It’s important to take a lot of risk. If you don’t take a risk, you don’t make Yquem.”

Today, Yquem is led by Pierre Lurton, its longtime President, along with Estate Manager Lorenzo Pasquini. The Cellar Master is Toni El Khawand, following the departure of Sandrine Garbay in 2022.

In addition to the sweet Sauternes produced here, there is also a dry white wine, Y (pronounced “ee-greck”).

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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 & Sémillon

Sauvignon 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.

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