Behind the Label
- The Maison
Château d’Yquem has harnessed the phenomenon of botrytis to craft balanced yet complex sweet wines that have achieved almost mythical acclaim. The maison was granted premier cru supérieur status in 1855 – the only estate in Sauternes to receive the honour.
Praise for Yquem has been vast, from author of the American Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson to French novelist Frédéric Dard, who wrote this of the wine: “Words do not exist in any language to express the infinite pleasure that is offered up.”
Planted with 80% sémillon and 20% sauvignon blanc, the Yquem vineyards are harvested in waves, as pickers only collect grapes that have reached maximum sugar concentration and are covered in botrytis (noble rot). Yields are so low that each vine produces only one glass of wine.
Château d’Yquem’s varied soils and hilltop terroir – river sediment, pebbles, sand and clay – impart a diversity of flavours in the grapes, ultimately creating intensely opulent sweet wines with outstanding potential for ageing.