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2002 Château d'Yquem - Case of 12 (half bottles)

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2002 Château d'Yquem - Case of 12 (half bottles)

Original Wooden Case ; Case of 12 Bottles - Half Bottle - 375ml

Starting bid HK$12,000.00
OR

Tasting Notes:

Beautiful apple, vanilla and honey aromas, with just the right amount of new wood. Full-bodied, medium sweet, with lots of pretty pineapple and honey. Long and refined. A beautifully silky and balanced Sauternes. Lots of intensity and well-knit. Unrivaled in this vintage. Best after 2009. 6,500 cases made.

Tasting Notes:

Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 2002 Chateau d’Yquem has a delightful bouquet with scents of dried honey, marzipan and melted candle wax. It is not the most complex, but it has very good definition. The palate has a controlled, linear opening with fine acidity and a tightly wound spicy core. This 2002 has a slight bitter edge which lends it race and tension. However, there is a touch of austerity here, as if it is holding something back. You might describe this as a serviceable Yquem: everything in its right place, but refusing to let go. This is aYquem sans the ambition of other vintages and yet delicious all the same. Drink now-2035. Tasted March 2014.

Tasting Notes:

I am amazed by this. Usually the dry Yquem is rather oxidized but this is lush and delicious. It smells and tastes like dried pineapple and mango. Hints of yogurt too. Full and rich with an opulent finish. Loving it. Decant an hour before serving and don’t serve it too cold.

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Château d'Yquem (French: [ʃɑto d ikɛm]) is a Premier Cru Supérieur (Fr: "Superior First Growth") wine from the Sauternes, Gironde region in the southern part of the Bordeaux vineyards known as Graves. In the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, Château d'Yquem was the only Sauternes given this rating, indicating its perceived superiority and higher prices over all other wines of its type. Yquem's success stems largely from the site's susceptibility to attack by "noble rot" (Botrytis cinerea). Wines from Château d'Yquem are characterised by their complexity, concentration and sweetness. A relatively high acidity helps to balance the wine's sweetness. Another characteristic for which Château d'Yquem wines are known is their longevity. With proper care, a bottle will keep for a century or more. During this time, the fruity overtones will gradually fade and integrate with more complex secondary and tertiary flavours. Since 1959 (though not every year), Château d'Yquem has also produced a dry white wine called Ygrec (Fr: the letter "Y"), made from an equal blend of Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc. Ramon Felipe Eyquem had made a fortune as a herring and wine merchant and had bought the estate in 1477 from Guilhem Duboys, seigneur de Juillac. Pierre Eyquem, Seigneur of Montaigne, had been the mayor of Bordeaux. His son Michel Eyquem de Montaigne died in 1592. Château d'Yquem was acquired by Jacques de Sauvage in December 1593. De Sauvage acquired the property from the French monarchy by exchanging other lands that he owned for what was then referred to as the 'House of Yquem'. The site has been home to a vineyard since at least 1711 when the estate became fully owned by Léon de Sauvage d'Yquem. In 1785 it passed to the Lur-Saluces family when Françoise-Joséphine de Sauvage d'Yquem married Count Louis-Amédée de Lur-Saluces, a godson of Louis XV and Lady Victoire de France. Monsieur Lur-Saluces died three years later, and his wife subsequently focused her energy on sustaining and improving the estate. While Minister Plenipotentiary to France, Thomas Jefferson visited the château and later wrote, "Sauterne.[sic] This is the best white wine of France and the best of it is made by Monsieur de Lur-Saluces." Jefferson ordered 250 bottles of the 1784 vintage for himself, and additional bottles for George Washington. However, at that time the technique of allowing noble rot to infect grapes had not yet been discovered, so the wine Jefferson was drinking was a different sweet wine.[citation needed] The 1811 Château d'Yquem, a comet vintage, has exhibited what wine experts like Robert Parker have described as exceptional longevity with Parker scoring the wine a perfect 100 points when tasted in 1996. After the 1968 death of the Marquis Bernard de Lur-Saluces, the château was run by Comte Alexandre de Lur-Saluces, a minority (7%) owner. The Comte inherited a typical annual production of 66,000 bottles a year. After the 1973 oil crisis, demand fell and prices plummeted. The price of a bottle of d'Yquem dropped to 35 francs; prices began to rise only in the 1980s. Under the Comte's leadership, "tractors replaced horses, collapsing cellars were renovated, and unused acreage was planted", with production in good years reaching 100,000 bottles and sales about $10 million. Following a bitter family feud and the decision of Eugene de Lur-Saluces (Alexandre's other brother) to sell part of his 47% share of the business, on 28 November 1996, the French luxury goods giant LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton bought 55% of Château d'Yquem from the family of the Comte Alexandre de Lur-Saluces for about $100 million. The Comte, after first challenging the sale in court for over two years, was kept as the manager of the estate. On 17 May 2004, the Comte retired and was replaced by the current managing director of Château Cheval Blanc, Pierre Lurton. The Comte had been known for being particularly dedicated towards maintaining quality, going so far as to reject an entire batch of the wine if he did not like the results of a randomised testing. In 2006, a 135-year vertical (containing every vintage from 1860 to 2003) was sold by The Antique Wine Company in London for $1.5 million, one of the highest prices ever paid for a single lot of wine. Also that year, Dior and Château d'Yquem together created a skin care product made from the sap of the Yquem vines. In July 2011, an 1811 bottle of Château d’Yquem sold for £75,000 ($117,000) at the Ritz in London to a private collector, Christian Vanneque, to become the most expensive bottle of white wine ever sold. The vineyard has 126 hectares (310 acres) in the Sauternes appellation, though only 100 hectares (250 acres) are in production at any time. Each year, vines from two to three hectares are grubbed up and left fallow for a year. Since grapes from newly planted vines are not worthy of the chateau name for five to seven years, about 20 hectares are held in reserve each year. The vines consist of 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon blanc, though the latter's vigour implies the proportions are more nearly equal in the final wine. Harvesting is carefully timed, and on average six tries through the vineyard are undertaken each year to ensure that only the botrytized grapes are selected. The yield averages nine hectolitres per hectare (2.5 acres), compared to the usual twelve to twenty hectolitres per hectare in Sauternes. The grapes are pressed three times and transferred to oak barrels for maturation over a period of about three years. On average, 65,000 bottles are produced each year. In a poor vintage, the entire crop is deemed unworthy of bearing the Château's name and sold anonymously; this happened nine times in the 20th century: 1910, 1915, 1930, 1951, 1952, 1964, 1972, 1974, and 1992 and in the 21st century one time: 2012.