2014 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend

Sauternes Blend - 9L
Reg: $5,450.00
$4,650.00
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REVIEWS

WE 99 JS 98 JL 98 WA 98 WS 98 VN 97 DC 96
WE 99

Wine Enthusiast, April 2015

(WE97-99 points) 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...
JS 98

jamessuckling.com, February 2017

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...
JL 98

TheWineCellarInsider.com, July 2017

Everything you want in a sweet wine is here. The vibrant acidity, layers of ripe and overripe tropical fruit, ladles of honey and freshness in the finish, which just keeps on going. 98 Points Read more...
WA 98

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, April 2015

(WA96-98 points) 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...
WS 98

Wine Spectator, December 2016

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...
VN 97

Vinous, April 2022

The 2014 Yquem was picked over four tries from 5 September to 30 October, a nine-week picking with 25% of the crop brought in before 25 September to obtain freshness. It has beautifully defined on the nose with dried...
DC 96

Decanter,

Lively, pure and fresh aromas, pear and citrus notes. So rich and concentrated on the palate but with a flare of acidity that provides tension and draws the wine out on the finish.

WINE DETAILS

Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 2014
Size 9L
Percent alcohol 14%
Closure Cork

Sauternes is the best and most sought-after region for dessert wine in Bordeaux, perhaps in all of France. Chateau d’Yquem is the most celebrated of all Sauternes producers.

The history of d’Yquem can be traced back to 1593, when local nobleman Jacques Sauvage became the feudal overseer of the property. The area was already home to late-harvest wines even then, and the Sauvage family moved things forward, creating “modern” vineyards—and the famous chateau—on the unique hill that contributes to d’Yquem’s outstanding quality. In 1711, the Sauvage family became full owners of the property and managed to retain it through the French Revolution.

The quality and reputation of Chateau d’Yquem wine improved as the vineyard was methodically expanded and enhanced. By the late 18th century, it was celebrated internationally and counted Thomas Jefferson among its staunch supporters. But the house continued to innovate and better its practices. The constructed a large, purpose-built cellar for maturation and aging in 1826 and, not long after, began harvesting in multiple passes to optimize fruit quality. This work was rewarded when Chateau d’Yquem was designated the only 1er Cru Superieur dessert wine in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines.

Chateau d’Yquem holds just under 300 acres of vineyard land on gravelly, well-drained soil, but only uses about 250 to make wine in any given year. The remainder is due to a program of continual replanting which ensures that producing vines are always in their prime. And the vineyard is planted only to Semillion (75%) and Sauvignon Blanc (25%), eschewing Muscadelle which is commonly used in the area but makes less distinguished wine.

Within an hour of harvest, the grapes of Chateau d’Yquem are in the winery and being pressed. Unlike most white wines, quality actually improves with multiple pressings as that extracts more sugar and flavor intensity. Chateau d’Yquem three or four times, with the initial effort yielding about 75% of the total volume.

Chateau d’Yquem does all its fermentation in new French oak barrels. This is unsual for Sauternes, but results in the most flavorful and pristine wine. Although there is variation from one vintage to the next, the typical Chateau d’Yquem wine finishes fermentation at 13.5% alcohol with 150 grams/liter of sugar.

All the barrels age for six to eight months after fermentation. At that point, under-performing barrels are set aside. The remaining barrels go to the aging cellar for 20 months, where they are topped up twice weekly to maintain freshness. For pure flavors and clarity, the wines are also racked 15 times and then fined before the final, blind tasting which determines the blend that will go into bottle.

Although not always very outgoing when young, Chateau d’Yquem is marked by fruit (apricot, mandarin, and occasionally tropical fruit) and oak (vanilla and toasty aromas). Older vintages, on the other hand, have an extraordinarily complex fragrance as soon as the bottle is opened, with hints of dried fruit (dried apricot, prune, stewed fruit, and marmalade), spice (cinnamon, saffron, and liquorice), and even flowers (lime blossom, etc.). The first impression of Chateau d'Yquem on the palate is always very silky, and often sumptuous. It then fills out, "coating the palate". This fine wine has a strong, but never overbearing character, with great elegance and poise. It always maintains a balance between sugar and acidity (sweetness and freshness). A touch of bitterness can also contribute to the overall harmony.