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September 28, 2017

Chateau d’Yquem 2015

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This morning we are delighted to release the long-awaited Chateau d’Yquem 2015, so anticipated due to its potential 100 point score from two critics. It has been awarded 98-100 points from Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate, which excitingly puts it in line with the 100 point 2009 and 2001, trading at £1,900 and £2,300 respectively. Martin attests just this; ‘This is a Yquem without a hair out of place: fantastically pure, botrytised fruit caressing the mouth. That is as per normal. What distinguishes this Yquem is the sense of electricity that is imbued by that razor-sharp acidity. There is just unbelievably tension here and to be frank, there is little point in me continuing to write this note, because it is simply an astonishing Yquem that will rank alongside the 2001 and 2009.’ James Suckling, who has awarded it 99-100 points, reiterates this calling it a ‘Special wine. It has a little more than than 140 grams of residual sugar, less than the legendary of 2001. But is very close in greatness. Let’s wait and see.’ Interestingly, the 2001 is the only other wine to have a perfect score from both the Wine Advocate and James Suckling.

We are delighted to release the 2015 today for £1,450, which will look very inexpensive if the 2015 gets a straight 100 points and will see a quick price re-adjustment. If you love d’Yquem, the 2015 vintage is a must own wine, 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.

Château d’Yquem was acquired by Jacques de Sauvage in the late 16th century from the French monarchy and remained in the same family by marriage for nearly 200 years. In 1968 Comte Alexandre de Lur-Saluces took over the running of the Chateau and was responsible for a great deal of modernisation and rebuilding of the cellars. After a bitter family feud, Eugene de Lur-Saluces sold his 47% share of d’Yquem to the luxury goods company, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. Chateau d’Yquem was Thomas Jefferson’s favourite French white wine; records show he ordered 250 bottles for himself and more for George Washington.

Often described as the supreme sweet wine, d’Yquem is unequalled by its fellow Sauternes and has a unique voluptuous and silky feel. The wine when young has a nose of apricots, mandarin and oak. With ageing, a variety of complex flavours are produced as soon as the bottle is opened with a sweetness that is perfectly balanced by its acidity.

In 2006, a single lot of Chateau d’Yquem containing every vintage produced from 1860 until 2003 was sold for US$1.5 million, one of the highest priced wine lots ever purchased. In late 2010 China lifted its importation ban on Sauternes and sweet wines (imposed due to sulphur levels being above 250mg/l) and since then its popularity has soared. In 2010 the ‘Liquid Gold Collection’ of 128 bottles and 40 magnums of Chateau d’Yquem sold at Christies, Hong Kong for US$1,032,336, a record for a single lot in Asia. This iconic wine made to exacting standards will continue to increase in demand and is set to move from Europe’s favourite to the world’s favourite wine.

Chateau d’Yquem 2015,  6×75 - £1,450 IB

99-100 Points, James Suckling
This is an incredible young Yquem that is so vinous like a great vintage of Montrachet but then on the palate it turns to Yquem with spice, dried fruit and mushroom as well as sweet fruit. Last for minutes. Acidity is all there giving it a dynamic vibrance that jolts your senses. Special wine. It has a little more than than 140 grams of residual sugar, less than the legendary of 2001. But is very close in greatness. Let’s wait and see.

98-100 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
The 2015 Château d’Yquem is a blend of 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc that was picked on the gravelly soils as early as 3 and 4 September until 21 October, four tries through the vineyard. It delivers 144 grams per liter of residual sugar, with six-grams of tartaric acid, a pH 3.65 and 13.9% alcohol. It has a show-stopping bouquet that is beautifully defined and very complex and exuberant, infused with greater mineralité than recent vintages – intense but not as flamboyant as say the 2009 Yquem at this stage. The palate boasts absolutely stunning balance. This is a Yquem without a hair out of place: fantastically pure, botrytised fruit caressing the mouth. That is as per normal. What distinguishes this Yquem is the sense of electricity that is imbued by that razor-sharp acidity. There is just unbelievably tension here and to be frank, there is little point in me continuing to write this note, because it is simply an astonishing Yquem that will rank alongside the 2001 and 2009.

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