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The pleasure derived from tasting Yquem is difficult to describe.
It offers a myriad of well-balanced, complex flavours that generate even more harmonies over time. The impression that remains is reminiscent of a quote from Frédéric Dard "the silence that follows a piece by Mozart, in which the listener remains suffused with the music". This reflects the fact that Château d'Yquem stays on the palate for a remarkable long time, providing a unique, prolonged pleasure. There is a lovely expression in French to describe Yquem's tremendously long aftertaste: il fait la queue du paon, which means that it spreads out like a peacock's tail.
It is always difficult to describe wine-tasting experiences with any precision. The senses of sight, smell, taste and touch are all stimulated virtually at the same time. While gifted tasters can identify some of the aromas and flavours in a glass of Yquem in an effort to define its complexity, they never really succeed in communicating its essence or explaining its mystery. Mere analysis, whether chemical or organoleptic, is not sufficient to account for Yquem's greatness. Yquem tells a unique story... It starts with the bouquet. Although not always very outgoing in young vintages, it is marked by fruit (apricot, mandarin, and occasionally tropical fruit) and oak (vanilla and toasty aromas). Older vintages, on the other hand, have an extraordinarily complex fragrance as soon as the bottle is opened, with hints of dried fruit (dried apricot, prune, stewed fruit, and marmalade), spice (cinnamon, saffron, and liquorice), and even flowers (lime blossom, etc.). The first impression of Château d'Yquem on the palate is always very silky, and often sumptuous. It then fills out, "coating the palate". This fine wine has a strong, but never overbearing character, with great elegance and poise. It always maintains a balance between sugar and acidity (sweetness and freshness). A touch of bitterness can also contribute to the overall harmony. Château d'Yquem's aftertaste is legendary, and it tells another story, which lasts and lasts…
Certain connoisseurs consider it outrageous to drink a young Yquem and believe that opening such a monumental wine before its thirtieth birthday is tantamount to a sacrilege. Others, on the contrary, think that Yquem can be enjoyed at all stages in its life.
Chateau d`Yquem is often described as the greatest sweet wine in the world. After centuries of family ownership, Yquem was was bought by Louis Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy in 1999. Its former owner and director Alexandre de Lur-Saluce remains in charge. Yquem is located on the highest hill in Sauternes and enjoys the best growing conditions in the whole appellation. The 110-hectare vineyard is planted with 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Only fully botrytized fruit is picked by the 150 highly skilled pickers and yields are so low that each vine produces only one glass of wine. Yquem is fermented in oak barrels (100% new) and is left in barriques to mature for up to 36 months. Intensely opulent when young, Yquem develops an extraordinary complexity and exotic richness when fully mature, with the best vintages lasting for over 50 years. Château d'Yquem is classified as a 1er Cru Classé supérieur.
In 1900 poor weather in April foretold a late start to the growth cycle, but the weather improved, becoming warm and dry. There was every indication of great potential, both in terms of quality and quantity. The first pass was on the 20th of September, before 68 mm of rain arrived and produced widespread botrytisation. This was followed by 4 weeks (26 days) of uninterrupted picking of extremely sweet grapes. The average yield was greater than 20 hl/ha. A vintage reminiscent of 1893, which was very great indeed.
The legendary 1900 ! The century began with an extraordinary harvest both in terms of quantity and quality. 1900 is firstly a record volume of wine, which was equalled only in 1982 ! There had been several bumper years previously, in 1896 and 1893. 1900 though, was legendary for its quality ! Despite the huge volume, this wine was of a power and concentration that have rarely been matched. This vintage aroused immediate excitement and eclipsed the fantastic 1899 by Château Margaux:
A wonderful year, which benefited from a very hot summer as well as very fine weather during the harvest. (Picking began 24th September)
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|8 950€ +24.1%||7 211€ +9.4%||6 590€ +19.4%||5 521€ +19.3%||4 628€ +297.3%||1 165€ +30.5%||893€|
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