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Wine Review: Chateau d’Yquem, 2008

Chateau d’Yquem, 2008, 1er Grand Cru Superieur, AC Sauternes,  Bordeaux, France

Chateau d’Yquem, 2008, 1er Grand Cru SuperieurA legend, an icon, a dream. There is no doubt that Chateau d’Yquem is the very finest sweet wine in the world. Arguably, it is the greatest wine on the planet.

In 1855 Chateau d’Yquem was the only chateau in Bordeaux that was classified as a 1er Grand Cru Superieur, a status above even the 1st growths of the Medoc and Graves. Yquem is a wine that has been sought-after by Tsars, Presidents and all serious winelovers for over four centuries.

The stately chateau is perched on a small hilltop, presiding over the appellation. The gravelly soils, the warm microclimate and the proximity to the river all provide the ideal conditions for the making of a great wine.

At harvest teams of skilled pickers search for the perfect berries affected by Botrytis cinerea, a noble rot that attacks the berries. Some years they pass through the vineyards up to 12 times, often picking individual berries. The production is miniscule, and in some years there is no wine made at all under the Yquem label.

The balance is sublime, the length never-ending, and the complex layers of flavor unravel on the palate. We are thrilled to be able to offer you such a legendary wine.

Food and wine pairing: This is the perfect complement to desserts and is classically paired with foie gras. Many would say that any occasion is a good one for a glass of Yquem.

By James Cluer, MW, Contributing Wine Editor www.finevintagewineclub.com

James Cluer, MW owns and operates Fine Vintage. Since 1953 only 38 people have qualified to become Masters of Wine in North America. James is a professional wine judge, an author, educator, and consults to airlines, governments and wineries.