2014 Yquem



Château d’Yquem 2014 is Wine Advocate’s most highly rated Bordeaux wine of the vintage at 96-98 points, with Neal Martin calling it “the business” and after tasting it concluding: “…it is splendid. I was struck by the purity of their 2014, the sense that this was a ‘complete’ Yquem that offers everything you could wish for from the estate.”

 

The critics scores across the board speak for themselves: Jancis Robinson scored it at 19 points making it her top Bordeaux of 2014, Antonio Galloni awarded it his joint highest score for Bordeaux 2014 and calls it exceptionally beautiful, James Suckling awarded it his joint second highest score for Bordeaux 2014 praising its fabulous depth, Decanter describe it as “utterly great Yquem” and Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator both gave it a potential 99 points.

 

The 2014 vintage has been described by Jancis Robinson as: A triumph for Sauternes… Some observers are even calling it the best vintage since the turn of the century.”  Neal Martin concurs: “2014 continues a succession of seasons that have rewarded the sweet-toothed wine-lover… The resulting wines are pure Sauternes, relatively rich in botrytis, mellifluous in texture and noticeable in terms of acidity levels.” In a vintage as strong as 2014, Yquem is not to be missed.

 

Cold temperatures during flowering caused Semillon to turn flowers into tendrils, aborting some berries. Although this no doubt caused a few sleepless nights at Yquem, it actually improved air circulation and control over the rot, increasing the overall quality. However, it does mean that the yield was decreased, reducing supply of this always highly in demand wine.

 

Having been lucky enough to taste this world famous wine in the office, we can confirm it lives up to all of the critical acclaim…

Size Availability? price? Qty
£3,017.00
£1,508.00
£2,944.00
£753.00
£1,471.00
£2,944.00
£734.00
£1,471.00
£128.00
£246.00
£1,006.00
£2,062.00
£3,092.00
£4,220.00
£5,275.00

Average critic rating : 97.0 points

94-97

94-97

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. Apr 2015, www.vinous.com,

96-98

96-98

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." Apr 2015, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2019-2070

97-98

97-98

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. Mar 2015, www.jamessuckling.com

96-99

96-99

This is beguiling, with acacia, jasmine and honeysuckle notes leading the way, followed by refined peach, tangerine and yellow apple fruit flavors. Very long, with a lemon chiffon note lingering delicately. Apr 2015, www.winespectator.com

19

19

Everything was very early, although they are always a week earlier at Yquem. Harvest started on 8 October with grapes slightly dried as well as botrytised. These grapes gave great freshness. They picked up until 28 October thanks to at least three botrytis infections. 15% passerillé grapes. TA 4.9 g/l (= 7.5 g/l expressed as tartaric) – a record. RS 135 g/l. Bright gold with a green note. Intense freshness on the nose. Fabulous nose of richness and freshness. The residual sugar is not high but the balance is great. Lime and pears and great richness and almost like a fruit juice, it’s so refreshing yet dense and sweet. Apr 2015, www.jancisrobinson.com, Drink: 2020-2050

97

97

Utterly great Yquem. A laser beam of acidity (3.6 pH) and lemony botrytis lifts and extends extremely pure aromas and sweet flavours (134 g/L of residual sugar) of tangerine, vanilla, pineapple and minerals. Less rich than the 2001 and ’09, but purer and fresher. I wonder if 25% Sauvignon Blanc isn’t just 5% too much? Apr 2015, www.decanter.com, Drink: 2022-2075

96

96

Very much on the honeyed, citrus side of the style range. Lots of sweet, ripe, very ripe and over ripe yellow fruits, ranging from pineapple and grapefruits to candied lemons. There is a lot of sweetness to the wine, paired with bracing acidity at 4.9 grams per liter, coupled with 135 grams of residual sugar, for those of you that like the numbers. This could be a thinking man's Yquem. May 2015, www.thewinecellarinsider.com

97-99

97-99

Apricot tones with lively acidity give this rich wine a vein of freshness. Pear and white peach notes offer weight, while a lime backbone brings levity. There is a richness from the botrytis that is lifted by this wines delicious freshness. Apr 2015, www.wineenthusiast.com



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 08/12/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Yquem 2014
+£142.00     (+5.07%) Latest price:  £2,944.00
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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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