Château d'Yquem, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Sauternes
    Château d'Yquem

    Château d'Yquem, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Sauternes,



    Château d'Yquem, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Sauternes, 2019

    Justerini & Brooks Tasting note
    Château d'Yquem, 1er Grand Cru Classé, Sauternes, 2019

    Yquem 2019 was the result of just two tries of picking – a necessarily rapid and intense harvest that saw the entire vintage picked in just 5 days, from the 10th to the 14th October. After a challenging season where early disease pressure was followed by drought like conditions (except one downpour in July) production is down by almost 30%. Furthermore, at 45% of the blend, there has never been so much Sauvignon Blanc in the final assemblage. Now released only when in bottle, the 2019 received four extra months elevage as the team sought to optimise the expression of the vintage. And they appear to have done a wonderful job – intense tarte tatin and roasted pineapple aromas are swiftly followed by spiced apples, cloves and white flowers. On the palate it is rich and unctuous, yet also quite structured with a good bite of dry extract. It is also surprisingly expressive and engaging at this early stage; it caresses and grabs the palate with caramelised pineapple and baked apple notes before a long finish of fresh quince, baked apricot and honeycomb.

    Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux
    Silky rich depths, clear even on the nose, but tingling mineral limon and citrus flavours, white pepper, basil, apricot. 138g/l residual sugar, 10hl/h yield. A higher percentage of Sauvignon Blanc than in a typical year, showing in sculpted gunsmoke and white truffle on the opening beats. Organic conversion began in August 2019, with certification expected 2022. Winemaker Sandrine Garbay.
    Date Reviewed:
    Drinking Window:
    2022 - 2050
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent
    Pale lemon-gold in color, the 2019 Château d’Yquem springs forth with confident, alluring scents of lime blossoms, mandarin peel, and candied lemon slices over a core of fresh pineapple, white peaches, and crushed stones, plus a hint of shaved ginger. The palate absolutely pops with vibrant citrus flavors accented by tropical fruits and peachy nuances, supported by an achingly velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing with long-lasting mineral and floral fireworks. An irresistible fat-cheeked baby with that Mona Lisa smile at the moment, give it 6-8 years in the cellar to begin to reveal its opulent personality, and then drink it over the next 30-35 years+. The blend is 55% Semillon and 45% Sauvignon Blanc with 138 g/L of residual sugar and a pH of 3.9. The alcohol weighs in at 14.4.
    Date Reviewed:
    Drinking Window:
    2028 - 2060
    Neal Martin, Vinous
    The 2019 Yquem has a flirtatious bouquet with yellow plum, honeysuckle and jasmine developing with time. Fine purity, though not showstopping complexity. The palate is smooth and pure. Very nicely integrated oak, creamy, touches of vanilla and crème brûlée towards the finish. This is a quite gorgeous Yquem, though I am certain that given more time to open it would have merited a higher score. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.
    Date Reviewed:
    Drinking Window:
    2025 - 2050


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    Château d'Yquem

    Château d'Yquem

    Chateau Yquem is without doubt the grandest and best known of all the great Sauternes estates. In fact, it is widely regarded as one of if not the most exclusive dessert wines produced anywhere in the world. When classified in 1855, Yquem was granted the exclusive and unique title of Premier Cru Supérieur.

    The list of past owners reads like a who’s who: King Louis VII and King Henry II were just two of the illustrious previous owners. In more recent times (1785), the estate became the property of the Lur-Saluces family. After a 219 year family association with the Chateau, Alexandre Lur-Saluces stood down in 2004. Now the property is under the ownership of luxury goods brand LVMH and the stewardship of Pierre Lurton and winemaker Lorenzo Pasquini.

    In all, they have 100 hectares of vines, planted with 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Pickers are required to undertake numerous tries, depending on the vintage and the spread of botrytis. Fermentation takes place in oak and there is liberal aging in barrel. The Grand Vin is one of life’s treasures. It is a wine of unerring purity, complexity, finesse and power. It is the wine that all other Sauternes estates aspire to be. For sweet wine lovers, it is quite simply Sauternes nirvana.

    There is also a very successful dry wine called ‘Y’ (Ygrec). This is produced from Sauvignon Blanc, harvested before botrytis affects the vineyards.

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