Château d'Yquem Limited Release 2009 and 2015 Six Pack Sauternes
Incredibly opulent and rich, Château d'Yquem is widely considered the greatest sweet wine in the world. Currently owned by LVMH, this prestigious Sauternes estate is at the very top of the appellation’s classification, designated 1er Cru Classé Supérieur. Château d’Yquem’s 110 ha of vineyards are planted to 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The Grand Vin is produced from only fully botrytised fruit, carefully hand-harvested over successive passes by a team of highly skilled pickers. Yields are tiny, with each vine producing just one glass of wine. Fermentation takes place in 100% new oak barriques followed by up to 36 month’s maturation in oak. A wine of exceptional intensity and complexity, the best vintages of Château d'Yquem are capable of aging gracefully for well over 50 years.
Sauternes is home to arguably the most prestigious and long-lived sweet wines in the world. Located 65 km south of the city of Bordeaux at the southern tip of the Graves, the appellation has 2100 ha of vineyards planted on flat, alluvial gravels overlying thick layers of limestone. Although viewed as one appellation, Sauternes actually consists of five communes; Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignanc, and Sauternes with Barsac also a designated appellation in its own right. What makes Sauternes unique is its special mesoclimate caused by the confluence of the Ciron and the Garonne rivers.
The region experiences evening mists in autumn which set in until late morning and are subsequently burnt off by warm sunny afternoons. It is precisely these conditions that provide the ideal environment for the growth of botrytis cinerea – a fungus that attacks the grapes, causing them to dehydrate leaving sweet shrivelled fruit, ideal for sweet wine production. Sauternes wines are made predominantly from Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc with small amounts of Muscadelle. Golden in colour with enticing aromas and flavours of honey, acacia, stone-fruit, candied citrus and marmalade, classic Sauternes is rich, unctuous and beautifully balanced by fresh acidity. Capable of long-ageing, the wines turn deep amber with age, taking on more tertiary caramel flavours over time.