Today signifies the long awaited release of Chateau d’Yquem 2011, which was initially held back by Pierre Lurton due to a ‘delicate context’, read difficult commercial climate. Yquem 2011 is regarded by the Estate and the world’s leading critics as an excellent vintage and therefore deserved to be launched outside the sluggish 2011 En Primeur campaign; we understand the rationale as 2011 was an excellent vintage for the white wines of Bordeaux, in particular Sauternes. Both Neil Martin and James Suckling compare the 2011 to the 100 point scoring 2001 vintage with the latter stating; ‘Gorgeous and clean. Bright. A more balanced 2001?‘. The 2001 trades today at £2,400 per case of six bottles!
Yquem 2011 has been released (ex negociant) at a 40% price reduction on the 2010 and 54% lower than 2009 making it compelling to those who buy Yquem perennially or those looking to start collecting this unparalleled wine. Yquem will not release a vintage in 2012, meaning the next opportunity to secure a vintage will be in 2013. There is little question this is an outstanding vintage, displaying great harmony, with a unique voluptuous mouthfeel and silky notes of apricots, mandarin, honeysuckle, vanilla and oak.
Chateau d’Yquem is considered the best and most well-known sweet wine in the world. It was the only wine classified as Premier Cru Superieur in the 1855 classification and the only Grand Cru Sauternes, therefore, unlike the five First Growths it has no rival in its class.
It is located 15 miles to the south of the city of Bordeaux and the picturesque Chateau occupies the highest point in Sauternes. The vineyard is planted solely with Semillon (80%) and Sauvignon Blanc (20%) grapes. Only fully botrytized grapes are used and it takes an entire vine to produce just one single glass of wine.
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – 97 points
“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.”
erobertparker.com – Neal Martin – 96-98 points
“The 2011 has a clear silvery gold hue, perhaps not quite as deep as I recall the 2010 last year. The bouquet is very fragrant and well‐defined, with scents of wild honey, honeysuckle and a touch of vanilla. It is a refined, sedate and beautifully focused bouquet that does not need to show off. The palate displays superb weight in the mouth, even though at first it seems almost understated. Yet there is clearly a high level of spicy, botrytized fruit with notes of honey, orange zest and a touch of mandarin. There is no explosion on the finish; the 2011 is rather a lesson in control, complexity and nuance. It is utterly seductive. Drink 2016‐2040+.”
12×37.5cl, 6x75cl, 3x150cl – £1,425
24×37.5cl, 12x75cl, 6x150cl – £2,850