Chateau d'Yquem 2014 Sauternes 1er Grand Cru Classe

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Vintage notes direct from Chateau d'Yquem

2014 was a year with marked seasonal variations: a mild spring, cold summer, and very hot autumn.

The average temperature was nearly constant from June to October. It rained less starting in late August, and summer weather finally arrived in September and October, which featured the 4th highest average temperatures since 1896. Three weather sequences ideal for noble rot repeated themselves during the harvest: light rain to induce Botrytis followed by two or three weeks of hot, dry weather.

Twenty-two mm of precipitation from the 25th to the 28th of August was followed by 19 days without rain. This led to a very early first pass in the vineyard, from the 5th to the 17th of September, bringing in one-quarter of the total crop, with unusually high acidity.

Another period of rainfall triggered further development of noble rot, followed by three weeks of hot, dry weather.

A second pass from the 25th of September to the 8th of October also represented a quarter of the crop, with superb concentration and equally lively acidity.

The 3rd period of rain, from the 8th to the 16th of October, was once again followed by 16 days of hot, dry weather. The 3rd and 4th passes, between the 20th* and 30th of October, rounded out the aromatic palette and texture of the vintage thanks to the body and richness conferred by late-ripening terroirs.

Nine weeks of harvesting captured all the diversity of a year when flowering and véraison were very spread out. The early harvest at Yquem this year, with 25% of the crop picked before the 15th of September, provided precious acidity of rare finesse.

This gave a decisive advantage to a blend which reflects the full complexity of the vintage, combining a modern winemaking approach with freshness and concentration, in the same vein as 2011.

This Month's Mixed Cases

The Region



Bordeaux is the region of France, along with Burgundy, that most fine wine drinkers gravitate towards. The reds are almost always a blend of anything up to 6 black varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. Depending on what part of Bordeaux you are in determines which of these varieties dominates, but largely speaking, Merlot is generally the number one.

The heartland of the Cabernets is the Medoc, the left bank of the Gironde Estuary, which is sub-divided into communes and AOCs, the most famous of which are (north to south) St Estephe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux. Among these 4 communes are where the Grands Crus of the Medoc 1855 Classification are to be found, but there are other AOCs where you can find less expensive wines such as Haut Medoc, Listrac-Medoc and Moulis.

To the south of the city of Bordeaux you can find the Graves, Pessac-Leognan and Sauternes AOCs, the latter of which is for sweet white wines whilst the former two are known for both reds and dry whites, normally from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon with a smattering of other minor varieties.

The right bank of the estuary is Merlot territory. This is where you will find St Emilion, with all its satellite villages, and Pomerol, the latter being the centre of gravity for Merlot-based wines. However, the most important vineyard of all is the Entré deux Mers - between the seas, or rivers in this case - where the bulk of Bordeaux's wines hail from, many of which are simply labelled as Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superieur, and Bordeaux Blanc Sec or Entré deux Mers for its whites

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