No 2012 vintage for Yquem

17th December, 2012 by Rupert Millar

Château d’Yquem has announced that it will not be producing a Sauternes this year.

YquemAccording to Agence France Presse, the estate’s director Pierre Lurton said the quality was “insufficient”.

Lurton continued: “We did everything we could but, sadly, nothing came together despite our efforts, despite our great terroir.

“A brand such as Yquem must know when not to make a vintage. For the sake of the brand’s image and place in history, it’s reasonable to not make a 2012.”

Lurton added that, initially, the first grapes harvested had been quite good but as the harvest went on and it began to rain quality rapidly fell away.

“They (the wines) would have lacked body, they would never have had enough concentration,” he said.

This is not the first time that Yquem has chosen to skip a vintage due to poor quality, and as Lurton noted it tends to happen every 20 years, so far; 1952, 1972 and 1992.

The grapes will instead be used to make Y d’Yquem, the estate’s dry white wine.

Yquem has not been alone in finding 2012 a difficult year, however, as reported by the drinks business, on the Left and Right Banks hopes are high for a small but good to excellent vintage.

2 Responses to “No 2012 vintage for Yquem”

  1. Steve Webb says:

    This is probably the right decision for Yquem as a brand and was probably made easier by the facts that they haven’t yet released the fantastic 2011 and that the 2012 crop was small anyway.

    However, whilst a strong Yquem brand is vastly beneficial to Sauternes as a whole, this will have done no favours to smaller growers in the short term. The 2012 vintage was difficult but not impossible and certainly not in the same category as previous undeclared Yquem vintages. Some may follow Yquem’s lead and not produce a wine (perhaps for different reasons) but many will produce reasonable wines in 2012 and some may even have cheated the weather and made very good Sauternes.

    For these few remarkably resilient winemakers it would be a shame if the 2012 vintage was dismissed by the market as a result of Yquem’s decision. I hope this will not be the case.

  2. Siguiendo las vendimias imposible de vendimiar cada 20 años, eso es, 1952, 1972, 1992,
    ahora le ha tocado esta 2012. Entendemos que situaciones como fuego en el uvar, lluvias,
    que han provocado condiciones climatologicas que han hecho que se produzcan hechos que
    sea imposible vendiminiar un caldo como el Chateau d,Yquem. Nos conformamos con degustar
    el insipedo blanco seco Y. Algo es algo. Esperar al 2013.

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