Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (2015) - 375mL
per bottle in a dozen or
$300 in a single transaction
The 2015 Château d'Yquem is a blend of 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc that was picked on the
gravelly soils as early as 3 and 4 September until 21 October, four tries through the vineyard.
It has a show-stopping bouquet that is beautifully defined and very complex and exuberant, infused with greater minerality than recent vintages - intense but not as flamboyant as say the 2009 Yquem at this stage.
The palate boasts absolutely stunning balance. Pure, botrytised fruit caressing the mouth.
This is an Yquem that ranks alongside the 2001 and 2009.
Sugar: 144 g/L
Spring temperatures rose quickly after a rather cold winter, and April 2015 was one of the ten warmest
The warm dry weather continued into May, except for one cool week in the middle of the month. These
ideal conditions were conducive to perfect flowering, the most successful in the past several years!
True summer weather set in thereafter.
In fact, both June and July were among the ten warmest ever recorded at Yquem.
Showers in mid-June provided sufficient water reserves for the rest of the growing season.
August temperatures were only barely less hot and moderate rainfall was propitious to slow ripening, which
preserved the freshness and aromatic potential essential to white wine grapes.
The fine weather in 2015 led to a very early harvest.
Picking started on the 3rd and 4th of September in certain plots with gravelly soil.
Lasting the first two weeks of that month, this first pass produced vivacious, very rich wine constituting
nearly a third of the total crop.
Showers on and around the 16th of September gave rise to a second, stronger wave of noble rot.
The cool, dry weather from that point on lasted until the end of September. This enabled the grapes to
become slowly and wonderfully concentrated.
A second pass began on the 28th of September.
Accounting for a third of the crop, this was quite intense and lasted until the 2nd of October.
At this stage, the grapes in late ripening plots were ripe and golden, but not botrytised.
However, light showers changed that, enabling noble rot to work its magic on this beautiful fruit.
A third pass, making up almost a third of the crop, took place on the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 12th of October, mostly of grapes on north-facing slopes with clay soil that contribute volume and length to Yquem.
Punctuated by light showers and cool weather, a final pass on the 14th, 16th, 20th, and 21st of October
brought the harvest to an end.
Reflecting a very hot summer, the harvest started quite early in 2015. However, it lasted until late in the
season because of cool temperatures in September and October.
Botrytis was in no rush this year and had plenty of time to develop all the complex aromas typical of great Sauternes.
The good rhythm between alternating rain and windows of dry weather meant that all parts of the Yquem vineyard showed their best, from warm gravelly soils to the late-ripening clay soils producing subtly powerful wines.
This 2015 has all the hallmarks of a very great vintage.