Chateau d’Yquem, a prestigious winery located in the Bordeaux region of France, has long been synonymous with excellence in winemaking. Specializing in sweet white wines, particularly Sauternes, the brand has earned a reputation for producing some of the world’s finest and most sought-after dessert wines. Here are the most essential things to know about these exceptional Premier Crus.
Who Is Chateau d’Yquem?
Chateau d’Yquem has a rich history dating back to the 18th century, making it one of the oldest and most esteemed wineries in Bordeaux. Originally owned by the Lur-Saluces family, the estate has passed through various hands over the centuries, but has consistently upheld its commitment to producing top-quality wines. Its deep-rooted heritage contributes to the mystique and allure that surrounds its exceptional vintages. If you want to buy a bottle of a perfect Premier Cru online, you will find 20+ chateau d’Yquem wines to discover on Millesima.
Chateau d’Yquem’s Harvesting Technique
What sets Chateau d’Yquem wines apart is the unique climatic conditions in the Sauternes region. It is characterized by morning mists and warm afternoons. This combination encourages the development of Botrytis cinerea, commonly known as noble rot, on the grapes. The estate’s meticulous harvesting technique involves multiple passes through the vineyard, selectively picking individual grapes at optimal levels of ripeness and botrytizing. This labor-intensive process is crucial to achieving the signature complexity and sweetness of Chateau d’Yquem wines.
The Exceptional Grape Varieties
Chateau d’Yquem predominantly cultivates two grape varieties which are Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Semillon provides the luscious, honeyed character, while Sauvignon Blanc contributes to the wine’s acidity and aromatic complexity. The careful balance of both, coupled with the influence of noble rot, results in wines that are not only sweet but also possess remarkable depth, elegance and aging potential.
The Age-Worthiness and the Cellaring Potential
Chateau d’Yquem wines are renowned for their exceptional aging potential. While they are delightful when young, these wines truly come into their own with age. The complex interplay of flavors evolves over time, showcasing a spectrum that ranges from tropical fruit and honey in their youth to rich, caramelized and nutty characteristics with extended cellaring. Collectors often seek out older vintages to experience the full spectrum of these remarkable transformations.
Limited Production and Rarity
Chateau d’Yquem wines are produced in limited quantities, adding to their exclusivity and desirability. The estate’s commitment to uncompromising quality and the natural vagaries of weather required for the development of noble rot mean that not every vintage meets the stringent standards set by the chateau. As a result, each bottle of Chateau d’Yquem is a rare and unique expression of the brand’s winemaking prowess.