New releases: d’Yquem 2013 and “Y” 2014

New releases: d’Yquem 2013 and “Y” 2014

Any new offer from Yquem is significant, but when a vintage like 2001, 2007, 2011 and 2013 comes around, it becomes momentous. The 2013 is clearly a wine that Pierre Lurton, Sandrine Garbay, Jean Philippe Lemoine and the rest of the Yquem team hold in the highest regard. A wet and cold May and June resulted in a protracted flowering, which the estate maintains forms complexity in the final wine. By contrast, July and August were hot, dry months, which ripened the fruit. The grapes were harvested in four tries of equal size between the 25th of September and the end of October. Rains interspersed each pass spreading Botrytis Cinerea to the unpicked grapes. The result is a wine of stunning concentration, enthralling complexity and sublime acidity. When asked, Pierre drew similarities to the staggering 2007 and 2001, both dazzling Yquems.

Also released today is the dry white wine of Yquem, “Y” 2014. This minute cuvee is produced from grapes that are just on the cusp on botrytizing. When the colour of the grape is just turning, one bunch is picked from each vine. This cuvee is fermented and aged in oak, 80% of which are old Yquem barrels. It is a unique expression of dry white Bordeaux with the character of Sauternes.

Yquem ‘13: ‘A majority of the 2013 Château d’Yquem was picked between September 25 and October 2, augmented by a second trie on October 11 after rains had provoked botrytis and then a third trie from October 21 and 24, before a final pass through the vineyard at the end of the month. Winemaker Sandrine Garbay told me that all the lots were equates to around 70.000 and 80.000 bottles. During assemblage of different lots, the blend ended up 30% Sauvignon Blanc, a little higher than usual, and 70% Semillon, while the residual sugar comes in at 140gm/L, which is a little higher than average. The reason is that the fermentation stopped naturally at this level, therefore the alcohol is a tad lower than average at 13.1 degrees. Firstly, you notice the colour, which is a touch deeper than recent vintages at this stage. The bouquet is quite honeyed and rich for Yquem at this early juncture, with subtle scents of peach skin, white flowers, and a puff of chalk and frangipane. The palate is viscous on the entry, all about the texture at first, coating the mouth with luscious botrytized fruit. There are touches of Seville orange marmalade, fresh apricot, a hint of spice and passion fruit. This is imbued with impressive depth and weight, perhaps an Yquem that is determined to make an impression after last year’s absence. It might not possess the finesse of a top flight Yquem, but it has immense power and persistency. 95-97/100’. - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

Justerini & Brooks' notes:
Yquem ‘13 - After a barren 2012, Yquem has hit back with one of the most impressive releases of this Millennium. It may one day rival the exquisite 2001 and certainly contends with the 2007, 2009 and 2011. As usual the selection is rigorous, from the 100 hectare estate, fewer than 80,000 bottles will be produced. One’s initial impression is that there is quite a lot of evolution; the bouquet is richly honeyed, with notes of flowers, fresh hay, peaches, mango and apricot. The palate is awash with decadent fruit; it is unctuous, pure and concentrated, with waves of clean botrytis on the broad mid-palate. There are so many intense, complex fruit notes: marmalade, caramelised pineapple and apricots, yet what really brings this wine to life is its bright acidity. Analytically the pH is no different to many of its forebears, but this just has a limey freshness that frames the sumptuous fruit and makes it complete and thoroughly engaging. 140g/litre residual sugar. 70% Semillon 30% Sauvignon Blanc.

“Y” ‘14 – Produced from 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon, just one bunch from each vine is selected before the onset of botrytis. This possesses a fragrant bouquet with notes of grapefruit, lemon rind and Granny Smith apples. The palate is broad and concentrated with plenty of white peach and apricot fruit which is strangely reminiscent of Sauternes, yet this has just 7g/litre residual sugar. Battonage clearly brings texture and voluptuousness, but the overall feel is of intensity with a lot of spark. Fewer than 1000 cases will be produced.

A limited number of double magnums, imperials, Salmanazars, Balthazars and Nebuchadnezzars of Yquem 2013 have been produced. Please enquire for price and availability with your account manager or by emailing