Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 1999
Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
The history of Yquem (like its wine) keeps a mystery even today. If the vineyard has been existing for a long time, the present castle is rather quite recent (the oldest parts date from the 15th century). In 1993, four hundred years old were celebrated at Château Yquem. It was on the 8th of December 1593 when Jacques de Sauvage acquired in tenure simple by an agreement of exchange of estates "la maison appelée Yquem...", a Crown's property at that time.
In the genealogy of Lur Saluces, there are three branches to be considered : the "Lur", the "Saluces", the "Sauvage". The archives of the Domain allow us to get back in the family's history until 990.
The "Lur" originate from Franconie (Fruin de Lur lived in Limousin in 990, while the "Saluces" branch comes from the Marquisate of Saluzzo in the Piedmont).
Under Louis XVI, in 1785 exactly, the domain of Yquem came into the Lur-Saluces family by the marriage of Françoise Joséphine de Sauvage, the "Lady of Yquem", with Louis Amédée de Lur Saluces, colonel of Penthièvre dragons (who was a godson of Louis XV and Lady Victoire de France).
Wine Spectator - "The 1999 was particularly impressive for the vintage. It was superbly focused and beautiful on the nose, with sugared lemons, tropical fruit and maple syrup character. Full-bodied and thick, yet very fine, it was extremely sweet and long. "
Chateau d'Yquem Winery
In 1993, Château d'Yquem celebrated 400 years of ownership by the same family. In 1593, the Sauvage family bought this estate which came into the Lur Saluces patrimony when Francoise Joséphine de Sauvage married Count Louis Amédée de Lur Saluces in 1785. Marquis Bertrand de Lur Saluces was one of the 20th century's most important personalities in the world of wine.
Count Alexandre de Lur Saluces has followed in his Uncle Betrand's footsteps since 1968. Highly motivated to perfect this prestigious product while respecting tradition, he is determined to offer maximum quality. All those who love this inimitable wine, from Jefferson to Pamela Harriman, former U.S. Ambassador, by way of great Duke Constantine, have approved this philosophy from vintage to vintage.
Yquem is the result of painstaking efforts by everyone who works on the estate. However, nature is the major factor in making the most of the rare soil of Yquem. View all Chateau d'Yquem Wines
About Sauternes and BarsacView a map of Sauternes and Barsac wineries (saw-TURN & BAR-sak)
The regions of Sauternes & Barsac are both located southeast of Graves, almost directly south of St-Émilion, and hug the Garonne River as it curves. Both areas are dedicated to producing sweet, white wines. The rains, the mists, the humidity and the climate, all help foster the necessary mold that leads to the unfortified, but lusciously sweet wines produced there.
Semillon is the primary grape here as it takes well to bortrytis, also known as "noble rot." Sauvignon Blanc is used in the blend to add acidity to the richer, thicker Semillon. The process for making the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac is long, labored and costly. After it has reached maximum ripeness, the Semillon grapes are left on the vine until they are infected with botrytis. This helpful mold then shrivels the grapes, concentrating the sugars but maintaining the acids. Weather is not always agreeable and berries must be picked at just the right moment, all by hand. The grapes yield less juice than dry wines, due to their shriveled and concentrated state. Some houses, like the famed Chateau d'Yquem, will not make a wine in a less-than-perfect year. All these factors lead to highly prized, and often expensive, wine. However, the taste is well worth it. In the palate the wines of Sauternes & Barsac are luscious and sweet, yet with the balanced acidity to keep them from being too cloying or candied.Wines with the Sauternes AC must be sweet - dry wines are labeled under the Graves or Bordeaux AC. Barsac wines may be labeled either Barsac AC or Sauternes AC. Typically, Barsac wines are a little lighter in body and less intense than Sauternes.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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