Existence in Sauternes is like one long rollercoaster. From the highs of the magnificent 2011, the region’s most celebrated estate, Chateau d’Yquem released no sweet wine at all in 2012, before ascending to new levels of brilliance in 2013. Such is life in this foggy corner of Bordeaux. Even on the greatest terroir in the region, if the correct conditions do not prevail, life is jolly tough. But when fortune smiles and botrytis spreads through the vineyards, there is nothing quite so wonderful.
We are delighted to offer a limited number of very special presentation boxes with one bottle of 2011 and 2013. These two remarkable Sauternes vintages are already regarded alongside some of the all-time greats. It will be fascinating to follow their progress and evolution over the coming fifty or more years. Although Yquem has always been regarded as the premium Sauternes estate, the recent vintages produced by Sandrine Garbay and Pierre Lurton have reached a new level of excellence. And for us, the 2011 and 2013 along with the hugely impressive 2009 are their pinnacles.
‘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. 97/100’ - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, September 2013
‘Firstly, you notice the color, 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, April 2014