2021 Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

2021 Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

Product: 20218004787
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Prices start from £1,060.00 per case Buying options
2021 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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Price per case
1 x 300cl double magnum
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 1 case £1,060.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability
1 x 600cl imperial
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 3 cases £2,120.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability
1 x 900cl salmanazar
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 1 case £3,180.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability
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Description

One of the true highlights of the year is getting to try the new vintage of Ch. d’Yquem and the 2021 vintage was no exception. This was an absolute triumph over adversity. The climatic events that occurred during the vintage only brought more vibrancy and freshness to the traditional apricot & mandarin notes I typically associate with this iconic Sauternes. While I always enjoy d’Yquem in its relative youth, I look forward to watching this develop over the coming decades.

Markus Ljunghammer, Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd (March 2024)

What a treat! Immediately on the nose I am engulfed by fresh mango sorbet, lemon curd and citrus oil. Soon come notes of summer florals in bloom and zingy citrus. The palate is alive with tart peach coulis, crème anglaise, soda bread with intense dried citrus just peeking through. This is in no way heavy or cloying, the acidity is marvellous and as for the salinity – the perfect seasoning. Fresh and mouthwatering the wine has the balance of a tightrope walker.

Amy Johnson, Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd (March 2024)

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Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous96/100

The 2021 Yquem was tasted in Amsterdam, the first wine poured at a lunch, thereby allowing me a longer period to examine it. Slightly burnished in hue, it has a very attractive bouquet with scents of dried quince, clementine, linseed and subtle candle wax, perhaps more discrete than usual, but certainly fresh and vibrant. The palate is medium-bodied and viscous on the entry, a Yquem with perhaps a lighter chassis than recent vintages, prioritizing poise and purity over horsepower— exactly the right approach in such a challenging season. It opens wonderfully in the glass, gaining more frangipane and kaki fruit scents, though it seems to have a lighter and more tensile finish than the 2020 or 2019. As such, I suspect that it will be comparatively approachable and, of course, delicious. Readers should note that I will probably re-taste the 2021 in Bordeaux during primeur.

Drink 2030 - 2060

Neal Martin, Vinous (January 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW97/100

The 2021 d'Yquem is composed of 65% Sémillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc. It has 148 grams per liter of residual sugar, making for a relatively rich style and the sweetest Yquem since 2017. Pale lemon-gold colored, perfumed notes of orange peel, juicy peaches, grapefruit, and honeycomb slowly emerge from the glass, followed by suggestions of jasmine tea, fresh ginger, and lime blossoms. The palate is fantastically satiny, with great tension and loads of spicy sparks complementing the citrusy flavors, finishing with epic length and a zesty lift. 54,000 bottles were made. The alcohol is 13.9%, and the pH is 3.79.

Drink 2026 - 2056

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (March 2024)

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Wine Advocate95/100

The 2021 d'Yquem exhibits a complex bouquet of rose, exotic fruits and mandarin orange mingled with spring flowers, rose and crème brûlée, followed by a medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless palate that's suave and layered, with a deep core and a long finish that's lent definition by delicate bitterness that offsets the 148 grams per liter residual sugar. This blend of 65% Sémillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc was matured, as usual, in all new barrels, but the new oak is perfectly integrated and barely noticeable.

Drink 2030 - 2050

Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (February 2024)

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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

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 & 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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