2020 Château d’Yquem “Y” Ygrec, Dry White Bordeaux, France.
The very expressive and tropical 2020 “Y” Dry White Bordeaux is very impressive stuff, way more interesting and delightful than I had imagined, especially after my first less than appealing experience with this somewhat rarity and really enjoyed the clarity, richness and freshness found in this vintage with its lovely peach and citrus led fruits, mineral notes and the mentioned exotic tropical essences on the medium bodied palate. Of course the main attraction at Yquem is their mystical sweet Sauternes, but I must say, after not paying much if any notice of this “Y” Dry Wine for over a decade, this wine almost blew me away with its energy, aromatics and charm in the glass. This pale gold 2020 shows lively peach, apricot, lemon and mango fruits, along with delicate vanilla, wet stones, clove spice, quince and unsweetened honey, making it a substantial wine that goes nicely with lighter cuisine and or soft farm cheeses. This not lean wine at 14% natural alcohol and has lush opulent textures while still being crisply detailed and having bright vibrant personality. This wine, with its prestigious pretense, will not come cheap, it is not a wine that delivers any quality for the money and is a luxurious treat for those lucky enough to try it. In recent years, this wine, grown on the clay rich soils in the Sauternes zone, has been elevated to the top echelon of white Bordeaux offerings, like Haut-Brion Blanc.
Château d’Yquem makes about 10,000 bottles a year of the Dry “Y” white wine (pronounced “ee-grek” in French) which maybe limited, but not as rare wine as they might suggest, though sourced from grapes that are picked from the same outstanding terroir and the same vines as their famous Sauternes, which is obviously legendary to all wine enthusiasts. Originally made from late harvest grapes, inferior grapes, after the best were picked for the sweet wine that “Y” was, what Yquem says was an irregular offering dating back to 1959, it only saw a re-invention in 1996 and is now made to much higher standards and saw a huge jump in quality after 2004, when they decided to make it every vintage and put high quality early picked Sauvignon Blanc grapes, while the Sémillon comes in a bit later with a touch of botrytis on them in certain years, adding depth and complexity. Yquem makes the final blend is made after tasting, after the wine is fermented in temperature-controlled vats and lees aged in mainly used barrels, only 30%, for ten months with a touch of stirring or baronage, with the winery saying that It usually predominantly of Sauvignon Blanc and small percentage of Sémillon. As this 2020 warmed and opened in the glass it took on an added dimension of mouth feel and lingered on the finish with a pineapple and crystallized ginger note, and I could not help being thrilled and seduced by this one, and I owe a big thanks to my friend Ben Edwards for sharing his own bottle.
($189 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive