Château d'Yquem Sauternes 1995, Bordeaux, France

Château d’Yquem is a Premier Cru Supérieur wine from the Sauternes, Gironde region in the southern part of the Bordeaux vineyards known as Graves. Château d’Yquem’s topsoil is warm and dry, accumulating heat thanks to smooth flat pebbles and coarse gravel. The clay subsoil contains good water reserves and there are numerous springs on the estate. Drainage pipes were installed some time ago to prevent waterlogging (100 km of drains since the 19th century). Yquem’s large size made it possible to plant 113 hectares of vines on a very representative sampling of the rich tapestry of the Sauternes region’s soil types. This extraordinary variety of soils is a key factor in the quality and complexity of Château d’Yquem. Yquem is planted with two grape varieties: Sémillon (75%), which produces a rich wine with body and structure, and Sauvignon Blanc (25%), an early-ripening but less reliable producer, which contributes aromas and finesse. Château d’Yquem’s microclimate is in the heart of a 20 km strip of land along both sides of the Garonne Valley where all of Bordeaux’s sweet and semi-sweet white wine appellations (Sainte Croix du Mont, Loupiac, Cérons, Cadillac, and Barsac) are located. 1995 vintage – “Very warm, dry weather from May to August was followed by 110 mm of rain in 24 hours… There was enough precipitation in September to trigger botrytis, which then spread well. The weather was very cooperative from that point on. The grapes had 16° potential alcohol when the harvest started, but this rose to 30 within two weeks by which time we had fortunately finished picking. The waiting paid off, and the grapes picked at different stages combined beautifully to make a wine that is both unique and fabulous!” – winery