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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.
Bright aromas of sliced mango, papaya, botrytis, and lemon follow through to a full body, medium sweet and phenolic palate that gives the wine structure and beauty. Electric acidity and freshness yet an impressive energy and length. A severe selection was made. 40% of the production was destined to the grand vin. About 80,000 bottles made. This is 70% semillion and 30% sauvignon. Better in 2018.
Incredible aromas of botrytis, including freshly ground nutmeg and dried mushroom powder. Dried fruits. Full body with incredible clarity and balance. Very dense and gorgeous. Very sweet. It goes on for minutes. Really superb. A monument to the vintage. Breathtaking precision. A severe selection was made: 40% of the production was for the grand vin - about 80,000 bottles made. This is 70% sémillon and 30% sauvignon blanc - a little more of the latter than normal. They started harvesting the same day at Cheval Blanc, which is rare.
The greatest sweet wine of Bordeaux and without doubt one of the world's most famous wines. No Yquem was produced in 2012 but it is back with a bang in 2013. The grapes (70% Semillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc) were picked in 4 "tries" between 25th September and 24th October. After a hot summer the early Autumn was ideal for botrytis. A bright golden colour. The nose is aromatically intense and very complex with barley sugar, marmalade, peaches, vanilla pod, roasted hazelnuts, candied lemon peel, and even exotic pineapple and cinnamon. The palate is caramel sweet on entry, with a bolt of crisp acidity bringing flavours of tarte tatin, lemon curd, poached spiced pears, treacle tart and more. There is a real purity to the sweet fruit core, and the streak of acidity running through gives the wine perfect balance. This Yquem has the wow factor in abundance, with a depth, intensity and complexity that makes it without doubt the wine of the vintage. After leaving the tasting and driving to our next visit 5 or more minutes later, we can still feel the smooth, succulent after taste. A stunning Sauternes.
40% of production has been selected for the grand vin which is high sugar levels and high acidity. Only 80,000 bottles will be produced of this outstanding Yquem.
Fragrant with white flowers on the nose an aromatic mix of citrus, white peach and apricot. The palate is lush fleshly rich candied peel, marmalade and apricot jam. The sweetness the richness of flavour is refreshed by the underlying citrus and although lighter at the back the finish has fruit richness and sweetness.