Chateau d’Yquem 2021

Chateau d'Yquem 2021

It’s ‘Yquem Day’ today, a term, coined Colin Hays for the annual release day of the inimitable wine from Sauternes.

Both influence the release strategy of LVMH this year, with the likely effect that a truly exceptional expression of Yquem will be offered to the market at price significantly below that its sheer quality would clearly warrant in a more conducive and benign economic context. To be clear, the final price has yet to be set. But this is the message emanating from LVMH on the eve of the release and the clear impression, too, of those lucky négociants in the pool to whom I spoke.


This is likely to be one of the smaller ever releases of Yquem to the market as the final yield was a tiny 8hl/ha. The price however is below what would have normally been expected in a better economic context. The quality however is sheer delight. Colin Hays calls it ”a vintage of staggering purity and freshness”.

If you like Yquem this is a vintage to buy!

Today sees the Ex Château release of the stunning 2021 Château d’Yquem.


The best of the best, Chateau d’Yquem stands alone as the grandest and greatest of the wines of Sauternes. Single botrytis-infused berries are hand selected in the meticulous and painstaking winemaking process that puts Yquem at the pinnacle and kept it there for centuries.

The pleasure derived from tasting Yquem is difficult to describe. It offers a myriad of well-balanced, complex flavours that generate even more harmonies over time. The impression that remains is reminiscent of a quote from Frédéric Dard “the silence that follows a piece by Mozart, in which the listener remains suffused with the music”. This reflects the fact that Château d’Yquem stays on the palate for a remarkable long time, providing a unique, prolonged pleasure. There is a lovely expression in French to describe Yquem’s tremendously long aftertaste: il fait la queue du paon, which means that it spreads out like a peacock’s tail.


Offered subject to remaining unsold and final written confirmation.

Wines available in the summer of 2024, hopefully earlier.

Delivery will be charged at cost.

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Wines from the offer

Chateau d'Yquem Premier Cru Superieur, Sauternes

2021 Chateau d'Yquem Premier Cru Superieur, Sauternes 6x37.5cl

Region BordeauxProducer Chateau d'Yquem
Type SweetPack Size 6x37.5cl
Vintage 2021Price £795.00

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Colin Hay

(Sauternes; 65% Semillon; 35% Sauvignon Blanc; a final yield of 8 hl/ha, comparing favourably with the appellation average of just 3 hl/ha; 148 g/l of residual sugar; pH 3.79; 13.9% alcohol; 100% new oak though you have nothing directly to indicate that). Tutankhamun gold, maybe a hint of buttercup. I find this more direct and intense than the 2020. Yet this is also a wine that exudes balance and harmony, even at this nascent stage. Beautifully limpid and with a disguised natural power. Supremely aerial. Green apple skin. Saffron. Fresh ginger. A hint of confit ginger too. Lime. White grapefruit. A touch of fleur de sel. Marzipan. White almonds. Mango. Guava. Passionfruit. Pineapple - entirely pure and crisply fresh. All in great purity. This is floral, too. Mimosa. Buttercup (almost the leitmotif here). On the palate I find this tight and tense, yet so incredibly softly textured. And, above all, intense and captivating. Sparklingly striking and dynamic - and held together by the salinity as much as by the acidity, the two in fact working together, giving this an incredible aging potential. Delicate in its intensity. Sapid and with lovely waves of saline-inflected juicy fluidity. Even now this is a wine of very considerable complexity - built from assembling the finest botrytised grapes from the best of the couronne (the crown) of Bommes (with the Chateau of Yquem at the epicentre). This finishes with the most glorious bitter sugar note - burnt caramel just perfectly on the edge of bitterness. So accessible but so totally ageless and, for now, almost cool in its freshness. 99 Points, Colin Hay, The Drinks Business [Colin Hay, 01/12/2023]


Jeff Leve

The complex aromatic profile explodes from the glass with pineapple, papaya, apricot, Meyer lemon, tangerine peels, caramel, honey, vanilla, saffron, cashews, and candied grapefruit in the aromatic profile. The palate resides perfectly in the middle of hedonism, and vibrancy. Clearly, there is ample sweetness, but the racy acidity provides incredible lift, energy, and length. The fruit expresses purity in its tangerines, oranges, mango, papaya, banana, and pineapples all slathered in honey. This is one of those Yquem's that can be enjoyed either as a sweet wine, or due to its vibrancy, with a diverse array of savory, and spicy dishes. Produced from a blend of 65% Semillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc, 148 Grams per liter, 14% ABV, 3.79 pH. Yields were only 8 hectoliters per hectare. The harvest took place over an extended time, September 12 - October 27, with 4 passes in total. As you can see, the harvest was quite long, but picking the heart of vintage took place mid-to late October. Drink from 2027-2075 98 Points, Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider [09/03/2024]


Neal Martin

The 2021 Yquem was tasted in Amsterdam, the first wine poured at a lunch, thereby allowing me a longer period to examine it. Slightly burnished in hue, it has a very attractive bouquet with scents of dried quince, clementine, linseed and subtle candle wax, perhaps more discrete than usual, but certainly fresh and vibrant. The palate is medium-bodied and viscous on the entry, a Yquem with perhaps a lighter chassis than recent vintages, prioritizing poise and purity over horsepower exactly the right approach in such a challenging season. It opens wonderfully in the glass, gaining more frangipane and kaki fruit scents, though it seems to have a lighter and more tensile finish than the 2020 or 2019. As such, I suspect that it will be comparatively approachable and, of course, delicious. Readers should note that I will probably re-taste the 2021 in Bordeaux during primeur. Drink 2030-2060 96 Points, Neal Martin [26/12/2023]

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