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New releases from Chateau Yquem
16 September 2019

Yquem’s lofty position in the appellation of Sauternes protected all but the edges of the estate from the ravages of the great frosts of April 2017. Tasting the 2017 Yquem a couple of weeks ago with Jean-Philippe Lemoine was an absolute joy. It is in a sense something of a contradiction. A precocious, hugely powerful, enormously concentrated vintage on paper, yet in the glass, this is sheer class: subtle, refined, delicate, controlled – not something that is easy to marry with a crop that hit 25% potential alcohols. This is due in no small part to the magic of this terroir, selection and a little alchemy in the winery.

Overall, the summer of 2017 ranked as the fourth hottest since 1897. From May, a sustained period of warm weather set in with periodic showers. These conditions prompted vigorous vine growth and advanced the vines’ cycle. By mid-June vines were a month ahead of the norm. Analysis at the beginning of August showed that the grapes had impressive potential alcohols (Sémillon 12.6% and Sauvignon Blanc 13.6-14°) and high acidities (8.5 grams per litre).

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