Chateau d'Yquem Y Ygrec 2012
Still youthfully raw, but the tangerine, clementine, white peach, white ginger and lightly toasted brioche notes are all in place, and the long finish of macadamia nut and green almond has depth. This should be gorgeous given enough time. Best from 2015 through 2022.
Château d’Yquem is an extraordinary place, at the very heart of Sauternes, with a hundred hectares of vineyards are planted on a mosaic of different soils. All the conditions are there to grow exceptional grapes and achieve the finest noble rot, the famous botrytis cinerea.
Through a sublimation process, the grapes reach a level a richness in taste and aromas that is simply unique in the world. Yquem preciously protects its selective harvesting secret, carried out by a team of devoted highly experienced local pickers, who have received their ancestral knowledge from the generations that came before them. Therefore, only the best grapes sublimated by botrytis cinerea are picked, because this is the golden rule at Yquem: never look for simplification, or shortcuts, and accept the risk of losing everything.
This is the price to pay to achieve excellence.
Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux White Blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added intrigue. Popularized in Bordeaux, the blend is often mimicked throughout the New World. Somm Secret—Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but they can be served before, during or after a meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage.
Sweet and unctuous but delightfully charming, the finest Sauternes typically express flavors of exotic dried tropical fruit, candied apricot, dried citrus peel, honey or ginger and a zesty beam of acidity.
Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle are the grapes of Sauternes. But Sémillon's susceptibility to the requisite noble rot makes it the main variety and contributor to what makes Sauternes so unique. As a result, most Sauternes estates are planted to about 80% Sémillon. Sauvignon is prized for its balancing acidity and Muscadelle adds aromatic complexity to the blend with Sémillon.
Botrytis cinerea or “noble rot” is a fungus that grows on grapes only in specific conditions and its onset is crucial to the development of the most stunning of sweet wines.
In the fall, evening mists develop along the Garonne River, and settle into the small Sauternes district, creeping into the vineyards and sitting low until late morning. The next day, the sun has a chance to burn the moisture away, drying the grapes and concentrating their sugars and phenolic qualities. What distinguishes a fine Sauternes from a normal one is the producer’s willingness to wait and tend to the delicate botrytis-infected grapes through the end of the season.