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Château d'Yquem 2018 and 2019
21 September 2020

2018 was a tumultuous vintage at Château Yquem. Tropical conditions early in the growing season were followed by a huge hailstorm on the 15th July, an event that caused considerable damage to the south-facing plateau in front of the château. Considerable hard work was laid to waste in minutes. The life of a Sauternes vigneron is seldom simple! However, in 2018 the fight was worth it, as conditions changed in mid-August and grapes reached optimum ripeness with up to 16% of potential alcohol. Botrytis was slow to develop. Then some welcome showers arrived between the 5th and 13th of October and noble rot began to work its magic. The bulk of the crop was harvested at peak concentration from the 22nd to the 27th October, with the final wine a blend of 85% Sémillon and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, and residual sugars of 145 g/L.

Despite the unpredictable weather, the Yquem team describes the 2018 as “a tremendous success!” - reward for a herculean effort from start to finish. In addition to the enormous endeavours in the vineyards, Yquem has also made a significant effort on the price. At £1440 per six, this is 18% below the release price on the 2017.

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