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Chateau d'Yquem 2017 - The new vintage of the world's most famous sweet wine. Plus the exceptional 2009 and more!

Yquem 2017 header exceptional
The new vintage of the world's most famous sweet wine
Plus back vintages

Great wines are not born just anywhere, by accident. A unique set of climatic and geological conditions combine to form a rare equilibrium. This is undoubtedly the case at Yquem, which epitomises all that is best about the singular winegrowing environment in Sauternes. Château d'Yquem's topsoil is warm and dry, accumulating heat thanks to smooth flat pebbles and coarse gravel. The clay subsoil contains good water reserves and there are numerous springs on the estate. Drainage pipes were installed some time ago to prevent waterlogging (100 km of drains since the 19th century). Yquem's large size made it possible to plant 113 hectares of vines on a very representative sampling of the rich tapestry of the Sauternes region's soil types. This extraordinary variety of soils is a key factor in the quality and complexity of Château d'Yquem. 

Château d'Yquem has 113 hectares of vines, of which only one hundred produce grapes in a given vintage. Two to three hectares of vines that are too old are uprooted annually, and the soil left fallow for a year. Furthermore, it takes at least five years before new vines produce grapes that are up to Yquem's very strict standards. Twelve hectares of vines are thus non-productive every year. Yquem is planted with two grape varieties: Sémillon (75%), which produces a rich wine with body and structure, and Sauvignon Blanc (25%), an early-ripening but less reliable producer, which contributes aromas and finesse. The vines are tended with the greatest of care. Workers perpetuate a long tradition of painstaking work under the watchful eye of the vineyard manager. 

Château d'Yquem's microclimate is in the heart of a 20 km strip of land along both sides of the Garonne Valley where all of Bordeaux's sweet and semi-sweet white wine appellations (Sainte Croix du Mont, Loupiac, Cérons, Cadillac, and Barsac) are located. 

The fact that all of Sauternes' great growths (eleven first growths and twelve seconds) are located around Château d'Yquem - the only Premier Cru Supérieur - tends to bear out Yquem's ideal location. The magic phenomenon of botrytisation is nevertheless fragile and subject to numerous meteorological factors. If the weather is too dry, noble rot is stymied. And if it rains too much, the grapes stop becoming concentrated. Furthermore, other types of fungus are waiting in the wings to take advantage of botrytis' weaknesses to take its place and ruin the grapes irredeemably... Accepting such risks inevitably leads to very low yields at Yquem and sometimes even calls for abandoning the entire crop

We are pleased to offer the new 2017 Chateau d'Yquem in three formats. This is an En Primeur offer. 

2017 was a year with total botrytis and tremendous concentration that called for very specific sorting techniques to stay within the parameters defined by Yquem. To summarise, 2017 is a very great success, worthy of the finest vintages ending in "7". Sémillon 75% and Sauvignon 25%

Chateau d'Yquem 2017
375ml $475.00
750ml $935.00
1500ml MAGNUM $1840.00

Yquem NV label
Wine Cellar Insider: Crisp notes of vanilla, marzipan, pineapple, mango, orange rind, flowers, and candied apricot are right there, as soon as wine the moves from the bottle to your glass. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, fresh, sweet, ripe and zippy. There is length, purity and precision. The lingering pineapple, apricot and sweet, lemon curd on your palate gets life from the jolt of racy acidity that runs down the middle. This is a top vintage for Chateau d'Yquem that is defined by its vibrant, freshness. What made 2017 so good, is the speed in which the sugar levels reached maximum potential. The harvest took place September 26 - October 13. The wine was made from blending 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, reaching 13.6% with sugars hitting 48 G/L. The Grand Vin was made from 40% of the harvest. 99 Points

Vinous, Neal Martin: TThe 2017 Yquem was tasted instead of the 2018 since owners LVMH no longer show the wine en primeur. This vintage has just been released onto the market and so I have included it in this report. The estate suffered no frost damage in 2017 and a warm period between May and July, 3° Celsius above average meant the vines' growth cycle was a month in advance. Then, 65mm of rain between 1 and 16 September was the catalyst for botrytis formation. The fruit was picked in two dry and warm windows between 26 September and 14 October, during which concentration came easily so that the bunches achieved even levels of ripeness. The vineyard team selected the best parcels to pick at 21 degrees potential alcohol and in a draconian measure, the rest was sold, some 50% of the crop. Winemaker Sandrine Garbay described it as A vintage of puissance and richness. It has a charming and very pure bouquet with dried honey, acacia, apricot blossom and touches of crushed stone that gradually unfurls in the glass. The palate is viscous on the entry, beautifully balanced with impressive weight and substance, though sans the multi-dimensional complexity of the very greatest vintages. Honey, hints of lemongrass, marmalade and quince combine on the extremely harmonious finish that lingers. This is a seriously good Yquem. (Drink between 2024-2060). 
97 Points
Jancis Robinson: 
Only a few vines on the fringes were frosted. Rain in the first half of September promoted botrytis and stopped before it became a problem. Concentration was very fast thereafter and picking had to be fast too because of the rising sugar levels. The main picking was 26 September to 9 October. RS 148 g/l, TA 6 g/l, pH 3.8. Total production was up but strict selection was essential. 80,000 bottles produced. Rich, creamy-almond nose, almond paste, ripe pears, apricot more than bitter orange. The first impression showed less immediate botrytis than I expected, it smells so creamy. Fills the mouth with sweetness and a light peppery spice. As it opens up, there's pineapple and bitter orange flavours emerge. Viscous texture and such concentration that it fills your mouth even after spitting. Unctuous but balanced by the bitter-orange freshness on the long finish. (Drink between 2027-2047).
18.5+ Points
Lisa Perotti-Brown, Wine Advocate: 
There was no frost at d'Yquem in 2017, and botrytis was very regular and even this vintage. The nose opens with very pure notes of freshly sliced oranges, yuzu and lemon barley water with hints of white pepper, fresh ginger and lime cordial. The incredibly rich, unctuous sweetness (148 grams per liter of residual sugar) is beautifully marbled with bright, vivacious citrus fruit and spice flavors, while lifted by well-knit freshness, and it finishes with epic length and great depth.
 
97-99 Points

To view and order the 2017's on our website click here.

Two back vintages available now...

Chateau d'Yquem 2016
750ml $995.00
 
Yquem NV label
James Suckling: What a sexy and moreish wine that makes you want to drink the whole bottle. Flavors and aromas of cooked apples, grilled pineapple, pie crust, apricots, dried mushrooms and flan. Full-bodied, yet tight and reserved. Very long and powerful. Lasts for minutes. Another great wine. 98-99 Points

Lisa Perotti-Brown, Wine Advocate: There was no frost at d'Yquem in 2017, and botrytis was very regular and even this vintage. The nose opens with very pure notes of freshly sliced oranges, yuzu and lemon barley water with hints of white pepper, fresh ginger and lime cordial. The incredibly rich, unctuous sweetness (148 grams per liter of residual sugar) is beautifully marbled with bright, vivacious citrus fruit and spice flavors, while lifted by well-knit freshness, and it finishes with epic length and great depth. 98+ Points
 
Wine Enthusiast: Barrel Sample. The bouquet opens with aromas of honey and citrus, offering richness and freshness at the same time. The mouthfeel is opulent, with honeyed flavors. There is some acidity underneath, although decadence and concentration are its defining attributes. It will age for decades. 95-97 Points
 
Vinous, Antonio Galloni: The 2016 d'Yquem is a magical wine. It also looks like an Yquem that will drink well right out of the gate. Like so many of the better wines in this vintage, it manages to express richness while avoiding excess heaviness. Pineapple, orange marmalade, exotic flowers and spice all blossom in the glass. There is a real sense of phenolic richness and overall viscosity to the 2016 that adds to the wine's singular personality. The 135 grams of residual sugar are not especially evident. In 2016, the vineyard was harvested in four passes, but it was not until after the October rains that noble rot started to appear on the vine. 94-97 Points
 
Wine Cellar Insider: Fat, sweet, tropical fruits, apricots and Mandarin oranges slathered in honey, vanilla and flowers. This is quite rich, powerful and concentrated. It has more freshness than the 2003, but not as much freshness as you find in 2013. Still, this is complex, deep, long and intense, yet remarkably light on its feet. This will age much longer than I will. 97 Points
 
Jancis Robinson: Four different pickings, first one dried. Deep
gold. Fragrant and luscious. Round and dried fruits. Real lift on the nose but massive depth too. This is definitely the cream of the 2016 Sauternes crop! (Drink between 2025-2050). 18.5+ Points
Chateau d'Yquem 2014
750ml $995.00
 
Yquem NV label
James Suckling MW :
Very subtle Yquem on the nose with dried pineapple, lemons, green apples and hints of botrytis. The palate grabs you by the arms and shows you superb concentration of spices, dried fruit, phenolics and incredible energy. Nothing is like this from Sauternes this vintage! Drink whenever you like. Spellbinding. 98 Points

Wine Spectator: A stunner, sporting tropical mango and papaya notes that glide along beautifully, while heather honey, pineapple chutney and toasted coconut flavors fill in through the finish. Delivers an amazing mouthfeel that is both creamy and intense, with a pretty inner floral brightness that contrasts with the fruit. Best from 2020 through 2045. 98 Points

Decanter: Utterly great Yquem! My wine of the vintage - and the Decanter team's top-scoring wine of 2014. A laser beam of acidity (3.6 pH) and lemony botrytis lifts and extends very pure aromas and sweet flavours (134g/l 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? (Drink between 2022-2075). 97 Points

Vinous: The 2014 d'Yquem has a complex bouquet with buttered toast, almond, honey and peach skin aromas. It opens with greater zeal than its peers, there is more immediacy here. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, a finely tuned and satisfying Sauternes with style and grace, evincing great tension and mineral drive towards the finish. Superb. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. (Drink between 2020-2055). 97 Points
To view and order the wines on our website click here.

Orders may also be placed by email to tracey@grandmillesime.com.au or by phone to (03) 9326 5737. Wines are available now.
Cheers,
Darren

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Grand Millesime Pty Ltd

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Phone: (03) 9326 5737

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Yquem 2009 header
The astonishing multi 100-Point Chateau d'Yquem 2009

In outstanding vintages like 2009 the wine goes to yet another level.
 
With 155 grams per litre of sugar this is one of the sweetest Yquems ever made yet there is such wonderful acidity that the sugar seems almost reserved. Incredible length. Pierre Lurton is convinced that this is the greatest Yquem of our times. Will it surpass even the outstanding 2001? He thinks so! He says that it has the rhythm of the 1989, the opulence of the 1990, the intensity of the 2003, the character of the 2001 and has a taste reminiscent of the 1893! If there was a prize for the most enthusiastic tasting note by a wine-maker in 2009 then Yquem would win hands down. A new masterpiece says M Lurton, hardly able to contain himself.
 
We offer this classic, direct from the Chateau, in three formats.
 
Put some in the cellar, the wine will live and delight for decades.

Wine Advocate, Lisa Perotti-Brown: Pale to medium gold colored, the 2009 d'Yquem bursts from the glass with gregarious crème caramel, allspice, dried apricots, mandarin peel and pineapple upside down cake scents plus a fragrant undercurrent of fungi, acacia honey, candied ginger, musk perfume and frangipani. Full-bodied and full-on hedonic in the mouth, the rich, tightly wound layers are still amazingly youthful with bags of citrus sparks and an incredibly long, perfumed finish. Possessing a residual sugar of 157 grams per liter and 13.6% alcohol as well as a laser-focused line of freshness, the rock-solid structure and through-the-roof opulence here is simply mind blowing. Pure perfection. 100 Points
 
Tim Atkin MW: Set to be one of the great vintages of Yquem, this wine is a class act. Grapefruit, barley sugar and subtle bortrytis nose, with oak adding a touch of vanilla. Intense and fresh on the palate with clarity, length and concentration and a citrus fruit tang. Carries its 155 grams of residual sugar lightly. In a great year for Sauternes, this is a stand out wine. 20+ years. 99 Points
 
John Giman, A View from the Cellar: The 2009 is clearly a return to the majestic brilliance of Yquem and the most magical young vintage of this wine that I can ever recall tasting. Its beauty in '09 lies in its haunting elegance and refined complexity at such an early age, which seems to me to be the barometer by which Yquem should be judged, as power is never an issue with this great terroir. The bouquet is absolutely fabulous, as it soars from the glass in an almost delicate mélange of fresh-cut pineapple, tangerine, an exotic touch of banana, acacia blossoms, a gloriously complex base of chalky soil, orange zest, delicate notes of honeycomb, a bit of pink grapefruit and an esthery topnote of bee pollen. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, very pure and remarkably light on its feet, with perfect focus and balance, superb acids and simply stunning length and grip. I hope the wine does not pick up too much oak from its stay in barrel, as while there will be no issue with the depth of this wine supporting its oak, to risk losing some of this kaleidoscopic complexity to wood tones would be near tragic. A magical Yquem and probably the finest wine made in Bordeaux in 2009. 98-100 Points
 
The Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss: 
Barrel sample. The aromas are so rich and powerful, with great ripe apricots. There are honey, spice and beautiful sweet spiced pears. This is an extraordinary wine in an extraordinary year in Sauternes. 
98-100 Points
 
Stephen Tanzer: Bright gold-tinged lemon-yellow. Enticingly fresh aromas of white flowers, honey, orange and fresh apricot, with suggestions of coconut and candied orange peel. Enters the mouth suave and wonderfully pure, with nectar-like flavors of peach, orange and pineapple complicated by a hint of smoky botrytis. Though extremely rich and concentrated, laser-like acidity gives this remarkable Sauternes a seamless, penetrating, mineral quality on the extremely long, silky finish. Its superb inner-palate energy and near-perfect balance suggest that it will evolve very slowly and go on for decades. A very sleek and refined yet impressively concentrated Yquem that remains amazingly light on its feet. A great example not just of the vintage but of the Pierre Lurton style, and quite different from the more showy and opulent wines made under the direction of Alexandre de Lur Saluces.
97-100 Points
375ml $499.00
750ml $999.00
1500ml $1999.00
To view and order on our website click here.
 
Massandra Bottles
 
Fortifieds galore
 
We have a fine selection of fortifieds available.

It includes Port, Muscat, Madeira, PX, Rivesaltes and some rare Massandra Collection bottlings.

Many are extremely old.

To view what is available  
click here.

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