Firstly, you notice the color, which is a touch deeper than recent vintages at this stage. The bouquet is quite honeyed and rich for Yquem at this early juncture, with subtle scents of peach skin, white flowers, and a puff of chalk and frangipane. The palate is viscous on the entry, all about the texture at first, coating the mouth with luscious botrytized fruit. There are touches of Seville orange marmalade, fresh apricot, a hint of spice and passion fruit. This is imbued with impressive depth and weight, perhaps an Yquem that is determined to make an impression after last year's absence. It might not possess the finesse of a top flight Yquem, but it has immense power and persistency.
A majority of the 2013 Chateau d-Yquem was picked between September 25 and October 2, augmented by a second trie on October 11 after rains had provoked botrytis and then a third trie from October 21 and 24, before a final pass through the vineyard at the end of the month. Winemaker Sandrine Garbay told me that all the lots were used, but only 40% of the crop made it into the final blend, which equates to around 70,000 and 80,000 bottles. During assemblage of different lots, the blend ended up 30% Sauvignon Blanc, a little higher than usual, and 70% Semillon, while the residual sugar comes in at 140gm/L, which is a little higher than average. The reason is that the fermentation stopped naturally at this level, therefore the alcohol is a tad lower than average at 13.1 degrees.