2019 Château d'Yquem

2019 Château d'Yquem

Published by The Wine Emporium on 6th Apr 2022

2019 Climate & Vintage

Although February and March 2019 were fine and dry, the beginning of the growing season was dominated by very cool temperatures. Fortunately, flowering occurred over the course of six days in early June, during a spell of warm, dry weather. Late June saw the onset of very warm weather conditions which lasted virtually without interruption until the 15th of August (with 50 days of temperatures at least 3.6 C above the seasonal average). This heatwave provoked vigorous growth, allowing the vines to compensate for their fairly slow start to the growing season. In the meantime, a drought began to take shape - Sauternes saw only 2.5 mm of rainfall until the 26th of July, when the region received an extraordinary 112 mm of rain, which fully replenished the soils’ water reserves. The rain lasted for several hours, and a further 40 mm fell between the end of July and the 12th of August, soaking deep into the sandy-gravel terroirs. With the threat of a drought now lifted, ripening progressed rapidly as the warm temperatures continued and the weather turned dry again.

Between the 26th of August and the 5th of September, the fine weather conditions allowed the estate to pick the grapes destined for “Y” with a perfect balance of richness and freshness. This relatively early harvest proved to be crucial to ensuring the quality of Y 2019, as subsequent warm weather caused the acidity in the grapes to dissipate. The heat returned in earnest, and between the 13th of September and the 5th of November the Sauternes region experienced 55 days of temperatures at least 3˚C above the seasonal average. No more rain fell until the 20th of September, and as yet there was no sign of Botrytis cinerea. Fortunately for d’Yquem, between the 21st and the 25th of September, the temperatures remained warm while 38 mm of rain fell, triggering the splendid development of noble rot throughout the entire vineyard. A wonderful high-pressure system arrived in the first week of October, bringing with it warm, dry and windy conditions, which helped the grapes in the great clay terroirs gain in concentration. The Sauvignon Blanc was tested on the 7th of October, and on the 10th harvesting finally began for Yquem 2019. Over the course of five days, one of which was a Sunday, the expertise of their pickers enabled the estate to capture the essence of a very fine vintage combining ample fruit, freshness and concentration.

To purchase any of the wines in this offer, please email Phil Stanton at [email protected] – This is a pre-arrival offer with wines due to arrive November 2022. Payment will be required upfront to secure stock. Prices valid until stock runs out or until Thursday 14th of April 2022.

Prices & Tasting Notes

2019 Château d’Yquem, Sauternes

  • 375mL Half-Bottle - $620 rrp ; $525 per 375mL
  • 750mL Bottle - $1240 rrp ; $1050 per 750mL
  • 1500mL Magnum - $2480 rrp ; $2100 per 1500mL

“Owners LVMH took the decision to delay the release of the 2019 Yquem until spring 2022. It was tasted with winemaker Sandrine Garbay in London. After the summer drought when Sauternes received just 2.5mm of rain until 26 July, that day saw a 112mm deluge that replenished underground reserves and gave ripening the push it needed. Dry and warm conditions prevailed throughout September when there was no sign of botrytis infection. That was finally provoked by 38mm of rain between 21 and 25 of September, followed by warm clement weather. After minor picking of Sauvignon Blanc on 7 of October, the main harvest began in earnest on 10 October. Pickers worked over the following five days, including Sunday. Time was of the essence because, as forecasts predicted, the weather suddenly changed on 14 of October with 40mm or rain. After that, the picking teams skirted between showers between 17 and 22 of October, though by now the fruit had begun to deteriorate. Therefore, the key aspect of this Yquem is the extremely tight picking window. The final blend contains 138g/L residual sugar, which is slightly less than the previous vintage, with 5.5g/L total acidity and 14.4% alcohol. Tasting the 2019, I noticed that it has a slightly paler hue compared to recent vintages (though I never read too much into the colour of young Sauternes.) For certain, it has a highly-aromatic bouquet that is beguiling in purity, enticing aromas of honeysuckle and saffron, soon joined by camomile, white flowers and orange blossom. It has wonderful delineation and gains intensity with aeration. The palate is supremely well-balanced with fine bead of acidity. Very harmonious and armed with just the right amount of viscosity, this Yquem is surprisingly understated at first but gains presence, offering irresistible flavours of layers of honey, lemongrass, lemon thyme and orange pith. Yquem is so tempting in its youth, but I feel that this vintage will repay those with the nous to cellar for at least a decade.” – 98 Points, Neal Martin, Vinous

“The 2019 vintage of Château d’Yquem has the highest proportion (45%) of Sauvignon Blanc in any modern Yquem. The Sauvignon Blanc adds to the freshness, acting as a great balance to the succulent, sweet and voluptuous palate. Intense peach and apricot, combined with lemon and orange zest, make this highly appealing to drink right away – an ideal vintage with which to start Yquem’s ‘lighthouse’ project. However, it would be a shame not to give this 10+ years maturation to see how it develops. Very well, I suspect. The growing season was both warm and wet, with mildew a big threat. After a mostly dry September, 40mm rain came at the end of the month, leading to a very short harvest window. All of the Yquem grapes were picked in two tries within a one-week period.” – 97 Points, Decanter

To purchase any of the wines in this offer, please email Phil Stanton at [email protected] – This is a pre-arrival offer with wines due to arrive November 2022. Payment will be required upfront to secure stock. Prices valid until stock runs out or until Thursday 14th of April 2022.