2018 Château d'Yquem

Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon

Sauternes,  Bordeaux,  France

$220
RP 98
V 93
Size:
Quantity:

Availability: 3

1er Grand Cru Classé

2018 Chateau d'Yquem, Sauternes, France

Winery Tasting Notes

Overview

Viticulture: Fertilizer is exclusively organic and used sparingly; only 20 hectares are fertilized per year. This compost maintains the soil’s natural equilibrium while keeping it from becoming too rich or fertile, as this would prevent the vines from producing wines of character. Chemical weed killers are never used. The soil undergoes regular cycles of manual work: earthing up twice a year, unearthing twice a year, and countless other vineyard operations. The vines are severely pruned in early winter to limit yields and encourage maximum ripeness.

Harvest: Château d’Yquem’s goal is to obtain musts with 20° potential alcohol (360 grams of sugar per liter). It is a daring gamble to obtain such concentration naturally, implying a long wait with the very real risk that the entire harvest may be lost as winter approaches. An increase from 18 to 20° alcohol decreases the volume of juice by an average of 50%. This largely accounts for Yquem’s extraordinarily low yields (9 hectoliters per hectare on average).

Vinification: It takes no more than 1 hour for grapes picked at Château d’Yquem to arrive at the cellar. Pressing takes into account the texture and fragility of the fruit. The grapes are pressed 3 or 4 times at Yquem. As opposed to other white wines, the sugar content and quality increase with each pressing.

Aging: Wine made from grapes picked on the same day is aged separately for 6 to 8 months. A preliminary blend is made from selected batches in the spring following the harvest. After taste tests and laboratory analyses, wines not up to the château’s strict standards are set aside. The barrels that have been retained are then moved to the aging cellar where they will stay for 20 months. Every barrel is topped up twice a week. This consists of adding wine to fill up the airspace created by evaporation at the top of the barrel. Furthermore, every barrel is racked 15 times to remove heavy lees. Light sediment in suspension is removed by a process called fining. The rigorous selection process continues in the cellar. Towards the end of barrel aging, a rigorous selection takes place at blind tastings. This will determine the final blend of Château d’Yquem.

Bottling: The wine is bottled during the third winter after the harvest, under the best possible technical conditions using 54 mm corks, the only length suitable for a wine of such great aging potential. Once the wine is bottled, it is then labelled. The capsule and label match the wine’s color. Bottles are then wrapped in white silk paper and delicately put into wooden cases. These are stamped with the château coat of arms, sealed, and ready to be shipped and age in the cellars of wine lovers around the world.

Tasting Notes: Yquem tells a unique story… It starts with the bouquet. Although not always very outgoing in young vintages, it is marked by fruit (apricot, mandarin, and occasionally tropical fruit) and oak (vanilla and toasty aromas). Older vintages, on the other hand, have an extraordinarily complex fragrance as soon as the bottle is opened, with hints of dried fruit (dried apricot, prune, stewed fruit, and marmalade), spice (cinnamon, saffron, and liquorice), and even flowers (lime blossom, etc.). The first impression of Château d’Yquem on the palate is always very silky, and often sumptuous. It then fills out, “coating the palate”. This fine wine has a strong, but never overbearing character, with great elegance and poise. It always maintains a balance between sugar and acidity (sweetness and freshness). A touch of bitterness can also contribute to the overall harmony. Château d’Yquem’s aftertaste is legendary, and it tells another story, which lasts and lasts…

Serving Suggestions: Certain connoisseurs consider it outrageous to drink a young Yquem and believe that opening such a monumental wine before its thirtieth birthday is tantamount to a sacrilege. Others, on the contrary, think that Yquem can be enjoyed at all stages in its life.

RP 98

Robert Parker Wine Advocate

The 2018 d'Yquem is all lime cordial, grapefruit oil and mandarin peel to begin. With a little coaxing, the fireworks really begin, letting off a whole array of honeysuckle, candied ginger, dried pineapple, lemon pastilles, chalk dust and sea spray scents, followed by a savory undercurrent of shaved almonds, allspice and baking bread. The palate is an exercise in polish and poise, featuring the most gorgeously creamy texture and bright, sparkling freshness, framing all the densely laden tropical and citrus fruit layers, finishing with a powerful BANG of profound floral and spice perfume. It is wonderfully sweet, yes, but that—paradoxically for a "sweet wine"—is almost beside the point. Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Issue date: October 2020. Drinking window: 2025 - 2055.
V 93

Vinous

The 2018 Yquem was tasted just a few months earlier before this second reading at the chateau. My notes are pretty consistent with that dried honey and saffron scented aromas, perhaps just missing the energy conveyed by the previous vintage. The palate is well balanced with that telltale lusciousness that I remarked upon in my last note, although this just precludes the 2018 from delivering the tension and nerve of the best vintages. Apricot and lemon curd linger on the aftertaste. Very fine. Reviewed by Neal Martin, Issue date: February 2022. Drinking window: 2026 - 2060.

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FREE SHIPPING INSURANCE: We provide FREE carrier insurance for lost or damaged shipments (per carrier terms and conditions.)

FREE WINE STORAGE: We provide FREE 6 Months wine cellar storage from date of purchase. Please choose this option at checkout and we will coordinate shipping for a later date.

SHIPPING: During warm summer weather, we recommend to only ship within the United States with Same Day or Overnight Service to protect the wines from environmental damage. If you would like to waive this protection by shipping Ground, we will request a waiver be signed.

PACKAGING: Our premium wines need optimal temperature consistency; therefore are packaged in EPS foam shippers with gel pack (when needed) and shipped only during ideal weather temperatures.

WEATHER HOLD: In adverse temperature conditions, we reserve the right to withhold shipment until ideal temperatures return unless we receive explicit instructions via email to release the wines, voiding any guarantee. We will contact you if a hold is necessary.

FULFILLMENT: Shipments are via GLS, FedEx, or UPS.

  • Orders received Sunday - Wednesday before 6:00 p.m. will ship the following day.
  • Orders received Thursday-Saturday will ship on Monday.

DELIVERY:

  • FedEx Same Day Service within Los Angeles Metro area may be available if order is placed before noon, but not guaranteed. Please contact us directly at (626)340-0795 to facilitate expedited service.
  • All shipments are recommended for Same Day or Overnight. Ground shipping to Mid and East Coast states is not recommended at this time due to warm temperatures.

Adult Signature: By law, all shipments of alcohol must be received and authorized by an adult. Our delivery carriers will not release packages without an adult signature and additional charges may be incurred if the package requires withholding or redirection.

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We ship within the United States to: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

RP 98

Robert Parker Wine Advocate

The 2018 d'Yquem is all lime cordial, grapefruit oil and mandarin peel to begin. With a little coaxing, the fireworks really begin, letting off a whole array of honeysuckle, candied ginger, dried pineapple, lemon pastilles, chalk dust and sea spray scents, followed by a savory undercurrent of shaved almonds, allspice and baking bread. The palate is an exercise in polish and poise, featuring the most gorgeously creamy texture and bright, sparkling freshness, framing all the densely laden tropical and citrus fruit layers, finishing with a powerful BANG of profound floral and spice perfume. It is wonderfully sweet, yes, but that—paradoxically for a "sweet wine"—is almost beside the point. Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Issue date: October 2020. Drinking window: 2025 - 2055.
V 93

Vinous

The 2018 Yquem was tasted just a few months earlier before this second reading at the chateau. My notes are pretty consistent with that dried honey and saffron scented aromas, perhaps just missing the energy conveyed by the previous vintage. The palate is well balanced with that telltale lusciousness that I remarked upon in my last note, although this just precludes the 2018 from delivering the tension and nerve of the best vintages. Apricot and lemon curd linger on the aftertaste. Very fine. Reviewed by Neal Martin, Issue date: February 2022. Drinking window: 2026 - 2060.

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