2009 Yquem



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£1,871.00

Average critic rating : 98.5 points

100

100

Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 2009 Chateau d’Yquem is one showstopper of a wine and perhaps it is only in a vertical that you realize this is up there among the legendary wines of the past – the 2001 included. It has a wonderful nose that expresses the Semillon component majestically: heady aromas of lemon curd, nectarine, jasmine and honeysuckle that all gain momentum in the glass. The oak is supremely well-integrated. The palate is extremely well-balanced with an unctuous entry. You are immediately knocked sideways by the palpable weight and volume in the mouth, which is almost “bulbous,” with layer upon layer of heavily botrytized fruit. It builds to a spicy finish with hints of marzipan and pralines in the background that lend it an untrammeled sense of exoticism. The 2009 is utterly fabulous and decadent, a star that will blaze brightly and undimmed for many years. Drink now-2060+. Tasted March 2014. eRobertParker.com.June, 2014

98

98

"The length to this is exceptional with an intensity yet subtlety. Full and medium sweet with bright and exciting acidity. It's all in balance here. Creme brulee, pineapple, and papaya. Lasts so long on finish. It's so fabulous now. It will age forever but it's already a joy to taste, even drink. Better in 2020."

98

98

"The aromas are closed today, but the core is loaded with apricot, nectarine and orange notes, bolted by a citrus zest spine and backed by toasted almond and piecrust accents on the finish. A large-scale Yquem that shows the richness of the vintage.—Non-blind Yquem vertical (July 2014). Best from 2020 through 2050."

19

19

Lively greenish gold. Very indulgent nose that sends a tingle down the spine. Great tang and life as well as richness. So pure and flirtatious – not one of the sweetest but beautiful balance and refreshment, without being an ‘aperitif style Sauternes’. Quite exceptionally persistent. Hints of blossom and real lift. Orange peel and real zest – great energy. Not heavy at all, This takes 2009 Sauternes to a new level. Extremely bright fruit. Long and rich. Not a fat style of Yquem. Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com

19.5

19.5

Perfection again, with the monumental body and flavour of the vintage: but a magical winemaking touch avoids any heaviness and gives a crystalline Riesling-like purity of taste and texture which is thrilling! For me the most formally perfect Sauternes of the vintage and a glorious affirmation of the property's new style: as rich as ever but with more flexibility to express the best and most original aspects of the vintage



Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 25/11/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Yquem 2009
-£1,873.33     (-32.41%) Latest price:  £3,907.67
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Chateau d'Yquem: The Importance

In Jancis Robinson’s words, Château d’Yquem is the “greatest wine of Sauternes, and according to the famous 1855 Classification, of the entire Bordeaux region.” Unquestionably the most famous sweet wine on the planet and arguably the finest, Yquem holds a special place in the hearts of wine lovers all around the world and was placed in a category of its own in the 1855 Classification, as the only Premier Cru Supérieur in Sauternes.

 

Consistently highly rated by world renowned critics such as Robert Parker, Neal Martin and Jancis Robinson, Yquem is one of the few wines in the world that unites opinion, with critics clamouring to praise its depth, precision and intensity. This wine also has an incredible capacity for ageing, with bottles from the 1800’s still drinking beautifully 100 years later. Some standout vintages of Yquem have been 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2015, with Neal Martin describing the 2015 vintage as “an astonishing wine…that is likely to rank with the pantheon of greats from this estate.” But it is hard to overlook this incredible wine in any vintage.

 

The style of wine produced at Yquem is rich and generous. Martin describes the 2009 Yquem as having aromas of “lemon curd, nectarine, jasmine and honeysuckle”, and these typically develop into caramel, nuttiness and even chocolate as it ages. Though the wine is sweet, the level of acidity keeps the wine fresh and lively and the wines from Château d’Yquem continue to evolve past the point where many other sweet wines are reaching the end of their life cycle.

 

Chateau d'Yquem: The Insight

Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot, plays a hugely important role at Yquem. This fungus attacks the grapes, and causes them to become dehydrated, which concentrates all of the flavours in the fruit. During harvest, pickers will always pass through the vineyard multiple times to pick the fruit at its best, differing levels of botrytis contribute to the final complexity of the wine. Due to the intensive sorting required to make the quality of wine expected at Yquem, yields are extremely low and one vine will only produce one glass of wine.

 

The vineyards of Château d’Yquem, planted with 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, are at the highest elevation in all of Sauternes, which gives it an ideal microclimate. Winds move through the vineyard helping to remove excess moisture, which could turn noble rot into destructive rot.

 

Demand for Château d’Yquem is strong, and En Primeur campaigns are useful for those seeking specific formats of Yquem. At time of writing, the record for the most expensive bottle of white wine sold at auction is held by a bottle of 1811 Yquem which, in 2011, sold at auction for $117,000.

 

The dry white wine also produced at Château d’Yquem since 1959, the Y d'Yquem (also known as Ygrec) is also well regarded by critics and consumers. The style of this wine shifted in 2004, when a decision was made to use only grapes picked at the fleeting moment just before they begin to botrytise. The blend in this wine is usually 80% Sauvignon Bland and 20% Sémillon and only about 10,000 bottles are produced each year. This is aged in a mixture of new oak and old Yquem barrels. Neal Martin described the 2007 vintage of this wine as having “a light, fragrant nose with apple-blossom, pink grapefruit, citrus lemon and just a touch of cold granite.”

 

Chateau d'Yquem: The Background

With its history going back hundreds of years, Château d’Yquem was at one point owned by the King of England during the Middle Ages. Winemaking at this estate seems to have started when it was bought by the Sauvage family in 1711, and was acquired by the Lur Saluces family when the last Sauvage married Comte Louis-Amadée de Lur Saluces. It is clear that by 1787 this wine was well-known, as, in that year, Thomas Jefferson wrote to the estate asking to buy some wine, and wrote that “I know that yours is one of the best growths of Sauterne.” The estate continued to be owned and run by the Lur Saluces family until 1996 when the famous luxury goods company Louis Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy (a.k.a LVMH, owners of Dom Pérignon, Krug, Ruinart, Cheval Blanc, Ardbeg, Glenmorangie, Cloudy Bay, Ao Yun, etc) acquired half of the shares of Château d’Yquem and then later purchased the other half in 2004. Pierre Lurton, who was managing Cheval Blanc, was put in place to run the estate, and has remained there ever since.



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