Chateau D'Yquem

  • Founded : 1593
  • Address : Château d'Yquem, 33210 Sauternes
  • Production : Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc

Château d'Yquem boasts a remarkably long and distinguished history.  More than just a winery, it's a legend, a cornerstone of the world's greatest sweet wines.  The estate's origins can be traced back to the 12th century, when it served as a fortified farm under the ownership of the Duke of Aquitaine. In 1593, Jacques de Sauvage, a local nobleman, acquired the property and constructed the present-day château.

The turning point for Château d'Yquem arrived in the 17th century. French royalty, particularly Louis XIV, the "Sun King," developed a fervent passion for the estate's sweet wines. This royal patronage cemented d'Yquem's reputation as a producer of exceptional quality, propelling it onto the international stage. The reputation continued to flourish throughout the 18th century, with renowned figures like Thomas Jefferson and Frederick the Great praising its exquisite character.

The 1855 Bordeaux Wine Classification further solidified Château d'Yquem's preeminence. Unlike other classifications that categorized estates based on red wines, Sauternes received a separate classification solely for sweet white wines. Château d'Yquem was awarded the singular honor of "Premier Cru Supérieur Classé," the only estate to achieve this distinction. This classification remains a testament to the unparalleled quality and consistency of d'Yquem's wines.

In 1999, the LVMH group, led by luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, acquired Château d'Yquem. While some initially questioned the impact of corporate ownership, LVMH has demonstrably preserved the estate's traditional methods while implementing modern advancements in viticulture and winemaking. Today, Château d'Yquem stands as a beacon of tradition and innovation, ensuring its continued reign as the undisputed king of Sauternes.

Sauternes, a small region southeast of Bordeaux, is renowned for its unique microclimate. The Ciron and Garonne rivers create a morning mist that encourages the growth of a specific fungus, Botrytis cinerea, also known as "noble rot." This fungus, while detrimental to most grapes, thrives in Sauternes. It punctures the grape skin, allowing water to evaporate while concentrating sugars and flavors within the fruit.

Château d'Yquem meticulously cultivates this delicate relationship with noble rot. The grapes, primarily Semillon (80%) and Sauvignon Blanc (20%), are hand-harvested in multiple passes, a painstaking process that can take weeks. Only grapes exhibiting the perfect balance of noble rot and healthy fruit are selected, a testament to the relentless pursuit of quality.

Once harvested, the grapes are gently pressed to extract their precious juice. Fermentation takes place in small oak barrels at controlled temperatures, allowing the natural sugars to slowly convert to alcohol. The wines then undergo a lengthy aging process, typically lasting for three to four years, in new French oak barrels. This aging imparts complexity, structure, and the characteristic honeyed and toasty notes that define a mature Château d'Yquem.

The resulting wines are an embodiment of Sauternes' magic. They boast a dazzling golden-amber color, a captivating bouquet of honey, apricot, white peach, and botrytis-induced notes of lanolin and saffron. The palate is a symphony of sweetness, balanced by vibrant acidity and a long, luxurious finish. Château d'Yquem's wines are not just beverages; they are liquid expressions of time, terroir, and meticulous craftsmanship.

Château d'Yquem wines are not just highly sought-after, they are legendary collectibles. Their exceptional quality translates into remarkable aging potential. Great vintages can cellar for decades, even centuries, evolving in complexity and character over time. This longevity adds another layer to the allure of Château d'Yquem, making it a prized possession for serious collectors and connoisseurs.

Asset Wines Grape Graphic

Offers from Chateau D'Yquem

Chateau d’Yquem 2021

It’s ‘Yquem Day’ today, a term, coined Colin Hays for the annual release day of the inimitable wine from Saute...
Asset Wines Grape Graphic

Wines from Chateau d'Yquem

Sort by latest
Filters Sort results
Reset Apply
Asset Wines Grape Graphic