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November 07, 2016

Chateau d’Yquem 2014 & Y d’Yquem 2015

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This afternoon we are delighted to release the long awaited Chateau d’Yquem 2014 for £1,425 per case of six bottles. In 2014 Sauternes are utterly superb, thanks to intermittent rain in September, combined with warm weather, particularly in the afternoon. The Indian summer created grapes that are ripe and balanced with fresh acidity. All this created almost perfect conditions for botrytic development, Sauternes experienced an August in October, with the afternoon sun ensuring noble rot, fundamental for botrytis. These late conditions were similar to the great 2001 vintage, however, while the 2001s were very ripe, the 2014s possess a superb balance of acidity and fruit ripeness, combined with incredible botrytic characteristics. As such d’Yquem 2014 is one of the finest in decades. It has been awarded 96-99 points by the Wine Spectator, 97-99 from Wine Enthusiast, 96-98 from the Wine Advocate, 19/20 from Jancis Robinson and 97-98 from James Suckling.

We released the 2013 last year for £1,200 per case of six, following on from the 2011 and 2012 which were both declassified. The 2013 has risen to £1,425 since last year, while the 2009 trades a £2,000 per case of six, the 2001 £2,200. The 2014 is a stunning representation of the balance, energy and complexity which makes d’Yquem the finest sweet wine the world over. If you love d’Yquem, the 2014 vintage is a must own piece, indeed, buying on release also provides the opportunity to bottle the wine in different formats, from bottles (1x75cl or 3x75cl or 6x75cl) and half bottles (3×37.5cl or 6×37.5cl or 12×37.5cl), to magnums (1x150cl), double magnums (1x300cl) and imperials (1x600cl), a truly impressive ornament.

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.

Today also marks the release of the 2015 “Y” (pronounced “ee-grek) d’Yquem. “Y”  is a unique wine made from the same vines as Chateau d’Yquem, with the same meticulous methods and standards, although the grapes are picked and the wine fashioned differently. “Y” was traditionally made at the end of the harvest, from the last bunches on the vines. These grapes were affected with a different level of Botrytis cinerea, yet never higher than 15% potential alcohol. It is a wine of immense quality, produced with an equal blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon. It is stylistically a dry wine, with a touch of sweetness and plenty of complexity.

Chateau d’Yquem 2014, 6x75cl, £1,425 IB 

97-98 points, James Suckling
A crazy combination of botrytis, dried fruits and freshness. It’s not the sweetness Yquem but it has an extraordinary depth of fruit and freshness. It goes on for minutes. Spicy and intense. A stunning young wine. A brightness and fabulous depth of fruit.  

96-98 points, Neal Martin 
The Château Yquem 2014 was picked over 9 weeks this year, with one-quarter of the grapes picked prior to 15 September. It delivers 134 grams per liter residual sugar and 7.3 grams per liter tartaric acid, with a pH 3.60. It has a captivating bouquet (I know…I know…what else were you expecting) But it entrances with its pure, wild honey notes mixed with almond and white chocolate scents, bestowed with beguiling delineation and focus. The palate is very poised with the acidity nigh on perfect. Occasionally an Yquem only reveals its components parts at this early juncture, necessitates conjecture. However the 2014 has a sense of harmony and completeness already, as if the élevage is merely there to usher it on to its finished state. There is undeniably great depth here, perhaps less conspicuous than other vintages because of that silver thread of acidity: notes of lemon sherbet, orange zest, shaved ginger and again, a few “flakes’ of white chocolate. It is extremely long with tenderness rather than power on the finish. It’s not quite up there in the rarefied heights of say, the 2001 or 2009, but it is what we call in the trade, “the business.”

94-97 points, Antonio Galloni
The 2014 d’Yquem is exceptionally beautiful for so many reasons, not the least of which is a striking juxtaposition of bright, floral/citrus notes of the early picks, before botrytis had set in, with richer, more tropical-inflected nuances that resulted from the later picks, where rot had developed. In other words, the 2014 is a wine of sublime contrasts, which is one of the qualities that often define the truly great wines. Lemon peal, coconut, jasmine, peach jam and brioche are some of the aromas and flavors that are present today, but above all else it is the wine’s textural finesse that elevates the 2014 into the stratosphere. The precise, understated finish is striking. There isn’t much else to say except that the 2014 Yquem is a real stunner.

Chateau Y d’Yquem 2015, 6x75cl, £525 IB

To buy this wine, click here