Chateau d’Yquem Grand Vin 1892
Château d’Yquem is a property in the Sauternes district of Bordeaux. Yquem is making arguably the world’s most famous dessert wine. Yquem was the only Sauternes rated as Premier Cru Supérieur in the official Classification of 1855.
The soils here are perfect for the production of sweet wine. A warm, dry topsoil of pebbles and coarse gravel lies over a clay subsoil that retains generous water reserves. This aids with the development of noble rot. There are around 100km of drains to prevent waterlogging in the vineyards. At any one time around 12ha of vineyard are either fallow or have young vines not suitable for production.
Winemaking & Maturation
The Yquem vineyard is planted to around 75 per cent Semillon and 25 per cent Sauvignon Blanc. A team of around 150 expert pickers are used for each vintage. They make multiple passes through the vineyard to ensure that only fully botrytized fruit is harvested. Yields are very low – about 900 litres per hectare, or around one glass per vine.
In the winery, the grapes are pressed three to four times, with increasing pressure. This yields lower volumes but higher sugar levels. Yquem is fermented in new oak barrels for maximum control over small lots. Following around 24 further months of aging the barrels are then re-tasted and the best lots make the final wine. Around 80,000 bottles are produced each year. In poor vintages, the entire crop is sold off anonymously in bulk.
“Amber, if not mahogany in color. The wine is lean, with a focus on its caramel, creme brulee, butterscotch, burnt orange and light chocolate characteristics. Not much sweetness remains and just a bit of fruit still lingers. The nose was fun. Knowing you were drinking a bottle of d’Yquem that was close to 130 years old was a thrill. It was not the best old wine I have ever tasted, but it is one that I will always remember.” – Jeff Leve
The picture shows the actual bottle.