Chateau D'Yquem 'Y' 2013

  • A subtle combination of richness and a rare vivaciousness
  • "Chateau d’Yquem 2013 is fantastic. It is THE wine of the vintage." James Suckling
  • This is an outstanding Sauternes
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Wine Spectator
    94 points

Editors notes

After a mild, very dry winter, the growing season got off to a strong start thanks to abnormally high temperatures in spring. In fact, the months of April and May were the warmest in over a century! As a result, flowering took place 3 weeks ahead of time, in mid-May, auguring well for a very early harvest. Fortunately, summer weather was less exuberant with temperatures just above the seasonal average and without excessive water stress.

These conditions locked in freshness and acidity essential to great white wines despite the fact that the vines had maintained their considerable head start: the grapes were edible as of 7 July! Fine weather returned in August, and a new period of hot weather set in. While there was no heat wave during this time, the weather was nevertheless quite warm, which inevitably led to a very early harvest.

Picking of grapes for 2011 “Y” began on the 17th of August, a record for Yquem. The Sauvignon Blanc harvest continued on the 19th, 22nd, 23rd, and 29th of August and that of Sémillon on the 20th and 30th.

The grapes that produce “Y” are picked exclusively by experienced permanent château employees, who carefully select a maximum of one bunch per vine in the finest plots, and only on days without rain.

It displays intense Sauvignon Blanc aromas and delicate overtones of Sémillon. The former contributes grapefruit, tropical fruit, and basil nuances as well as crispness on the palate whereas the latter adds a round, smooth texture and hints of pear and white peaches. This wine is incredibly fresh and vibrant with delicious fruity and floral aromas, as well as a beautiful long aftertaste.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Lemon
    • Mineral
    • White Flowers
  • Palate
    • Lemon Zest
    • Slate
    • Stonefruit

Food Pairings

  • Asian
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Wine Spectator

    "The 2013 vintage of Y is a superb example of the new generation of this wine. It displays intense Sauvignon Blanc aromas and delicate overtones of Sémillon. The former contributes grapefruit, tropical fruit and basil nuances as well as crispness on the palate"

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.


Bordeaux has a rich history of winemaking, dating back to the Roman times. Today, it is known as one of the most significant wine regions in the world, with a reputation for producing complex, full-bodied red wines. The region is home to a diverse range of terroirs, each with its own unique microclimate, soil composition, and grape varieties.

The left bank of Bordeaux is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives in the region's gravelly soils. These wines tend to be bold, tannic, and complex, with notes of blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco. On the right bank, Merlot is king, producing wines that are softer and fruitier, with notes of plum, cherry, and chocolate.

Aside from the red blends, Bordeaux is also renowned for its sweet wines, particularly from the Sauternes and Barsac appellations. These wines are made using a unique process that involves botrytis, or "noble rot," which concentrates the sugars in the grapes, resulting in a lusciously sweet and complex wine.

Bordeaux's classification system has evolved over time, with some estates moving up or down the ranks depending on the quality of their wines. Today, the system includes five growths, with Premier Cru being the highest and Deuxièmes Crus being the second-highest. There is also a separate classification for the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac, with Chateau d’Yquem holding the highest rank.

Overall, Bordeaux is a region that continues to captivate wine enthusiasts around the world with its rich history, diverse terroirs, and exceptional wines.


Graves is a large appellation for both white and red wines in Bordeaux, France. It sits south of the city of Bordeaux, bordered by the Garonne River to the east and the Landes forest to the west. It is also Bordeaux’s oldest viticultural zone, with grapegrowing dating back as far as the Middle Ages. The appellation takes its name from the gravelly soils that dominate vineyards here. Graves makes dry white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. These wines are citrusy, fruity, and floral, with some nutty notes and a hint of minerality, and they can gain both body and refinement with age. For red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape variety, and there are plantings of Merlot, too. These reds boast floral and spicy aromas and rich flavours of blackberry. Premium examples can be impressive expressions, with ageing potential of five to 15 years.

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About the brand Chateau d'Yquem

Château d’Yquem has always been prized by wealthy wine lovers and has a long and interesting history starting in the Middle Ages when the estate belonged to the King of England.

Some characteristics for which Château d'Yquem are known for is their complexity, concentration, sweetness and longetivity. A bottle will keep for a century or more if properly looked after. In this time, the fruity overtones will gradually fade and combine with more complex secondary and tertiary flavours. In 1996, wine expert Robert Parker scored the wine a perfect 100 points.

The vineyard has 126 hectares in the Sauternes appellation, but only 100 hectares are in production at any time. Roughly 20 hectares are held in reserve each year, as grapes from newly planted vines are not worthy of the chateau name for five to seven years. In a poor vintage, it is sold anonymously. The vines consist of 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon blanc, though the proportions are thought to be more equal in the final wine. On average, 65,000 bottles are produced every year.

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