Sautern mainly known for its decadent sweet wines, it is home to Château d’Yquem a Premier Cru Supérieur wine from the Sauternes, region in the southern part of the Bordeaux. In the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, Château d’Yquem was the only Sauternes given this rating, indicating its perceived superiority and higher prices over all other wines of its type.

Producer: The property that would become d’Yquem was once held by the King of England and Duke of Aquitaine, when his dominion included this portion of France. By the end of the 16th century, the estate was recognized for late-harvest winegrowing, and by the late 18th and early 19th century, its reputation for quality was unparalleled, with such champions as Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte.

The first documented occurrence of a botrytized (noble rot) harvest at d’Yquem is 1847, when the Marquis de Lur-Saluces returned late from Russia to his harvest, only to discover the berries afflicted with the fungus. Many posit, however, that the presence of noble rot began in earlier years, such as the celebrated “comet vintage” of 1811, where the botrytis character purportedly remains palpable. At the Exposition Universelle de Paris, d’Yquem was awarded its own tier above all other châteaux, as a “superior first growth,” according to the 1855 classification.

About this wine: Y has seen a dramatic shift in style over the last several decades. Formerly fermented from the unbotrytized berries left at the end of harvest, it is now picked deliberately at the beginning, with a focus on Sauvignon Blanc (often 80%). Until the 2004 vintage, Y was vinified in a more oxidative style, with 36 months in 100% barrels. Today, it sees as little as 30% new oak for a much shorter duration. Y does not undergo malolactic fermentation but experiences bâtonnage. It is bottled with a few grams of residual sugar.

Tasting Notes: 2016 ‘Y’ Bordeaux Blanc Aromas of pineapple, honey citrus offers a rich and freshening experience at the same time thanks to its balance acidity.

It was so nice to be able to enjoy it with friends as the day become night. It drank so easy and pair so well with the conversation that we didn’t even notice it was gone till the entrées arrived.

Prosciutto and Asparagus Salad

Country: France

Region: Bordeaux

Sub-Region: Sauterns

Vineyard Holdings: 113 ha

  • 75% Sémillon
  • 25% Sauvignon Blanc

Classification: Superior First Growth (Classification of Sauternes, 1855)

Average Total Production: 8,000 cases

Top Wines Produced & Inaugural Vintages:

  • Château d’Yquem (White), Sauternes Premier Cru Supérieur: Grand vin. 75% Sémillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc (2015 vintage). Aged 26 to 28 months in barrel, 100% new.
  • Y d’Yquem (White), Bordeaux: Dry white. 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Sémillon (2015 vintage).

 Soils: Are heterogenous but largely composed of sandy gravel above clay-limestone, with several pockets of blue clay akin to those found at Pétrus.


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