Wine Tasting at Chateau d’Yquem
Monday, June 8th
We bought some food like roasted chicken wings, a ¼ of a roasted chicken breast, caneles, small peaches, and lamb cubes (perhaps they were veal). We also bought water and brought it all for a picnic at Dune Du Pilat. It was amazing up there. We didn’t know it is like a desert, we thought there would be sand on the beach, but you actually need to climb up to see the amazing panoramic.
After that wonderful repast, we rested and drove to Chateau Y’Quem, which is famous for their sweet wines. They are a Superior First Growth from the Sauternes, Gironde region in the southern part of Bordeaux in Graves. They were classified in 1855, and it was the only winery that made Sauternes that was given this rating. Ramon Felipe Eyquen was the original owner; and he earned his fortune as a herring and wine merchant and bought the estate in 1477 from Guilhem Duboys. Their wine from 1811, a comet vintage, scored 100 points—a perfect scort—from Robert Parker, who tried it in 1996! The site is susceptible to noble rot, which gives the wine a distinct flavor. Pierre Lurton is currently the managing director, who also works at Chateau Cheval Blanc.
The vineyard has 126 hectares in the Sauternes appellation, but only 100 hectares are in production at any given time. They leave some of the property fallow for a year, and newly planted vines don’t grow good enough grapes for five to seven years! They grow 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. There was not much to see in the chateau. Our tour guide’s name was Anne, who was very knowledgeable, but she didn’t show us around very much. She didn’t show us the stainless steel tanks, and their shop is really small.
. The chateau looks like a castle that is a little run-down due to the paint job and different roof colors, but the lawn around it is manicured and neat. The vineyards are huge! Since the chateau is up a little higher, we could see to the horizon. It was a very clear day, so we saw hills very far away. Like other wineries, they have a small herb garden by the registration area. To see the vats of wine, we went down a modern spiral staircase, which leads underground. The aging room is simple and full of wine barrels. They also have a few beautiful gardens that are manicured in an eighteenth-century fashion.
We bought two bottles from 2011, costing 300€ together. The wines are complex with a high acidity that balances the wine’s sweetness. The wines can also age for a long time, as much as a century or more! Since 1959, they also make a dry wine that they call Ygrec, which is equal parts Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.We went to La cave for cheese and some wine. Alex spent two 700+ to buy twenty wines from the Burgundy Bay Edward. Dominic, an older gentleman, told us to visit Panisse Café for dinner. Edward called and made a reservation for us. How cool is that?!? We ordered fried squid and eel for starters, which were not bad! They we got 12 oysters, but those were not as good in Bordeaux. Then we had 1 kg turbo, and we were so full after that. Exhausted, we went back to the hotel