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Yquem 2011 released

Château d’Yquem has finally released the 2011 vintage having skipped last year’s en primeur.

Two years ago as the Bordeaux en primeur campaign bombed on the back of poor pricing and general lack of enthusiasm from buyers, director Pierre Lurton said that the Sauternes estate would wait for a, “more suitable moment” that “suits the excellence of the wine of this vintage”.

Nearly all of the Sauternes from 2011 was lauded as exemplary, Yquem being, as usual, no exception.

Neal Martin for The Wine Advocate, gave it 96-98 points and said of it: “There is no explosion on the finish; the 2011 is rather a lesson in control, complexity and nuance. It is utterly seductive.”

Lay & Wheeler is offering a case of six bottles of case of 12 halves for £1,449, Fine & Rare for £1,450 per six.

Joss Fowler of Fine & Rare told the drinks business that he thought the new release well-priced considering it is being compared so favourably to the 2001.

“If you compare the price to 01 then it’s a good price, it seems fair,” he said. “It’s cheaper than 2007. If you compare it to youngish vintages of a similar potential quality then I think it’s about right.”

Although Yquem has been eagerly awaited, there have been some queries over the estate’s pricing in more recent vintages.

It was recently noted by Liv-ex that since 2005 when release prices began to climb sharply, the property has performed badly.

By contrast the cheaper, pre-2005, wines have continued to fair well and seen moderate rises. Fowler said that when viewing past vintages there was definitely a question to be raised about value.

“We also have some 1989 for an added £200 a case,” he said and added that if he were buying he would be sure to “buy some mature” as well.

How well this new release will sell remains to be seen but with no 2012 vintage forthcoming, Yquem fans may see this as a chance to stock up although Fowler was less convinced.

He explained: “I think people will buy 2011 on a) quality, all critics are in unison. And b) the price is reasonable. That the 2012 isn’t going to be made I don’t think that’s important, as you can still buy recent vintages of Yquem.”

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