The castle of Yquem decomplexes its Sauternes at 60 €.

As part of the efforts to democratize Bordeaux’s sweet wines, the Premier Grand Cru Classé in 1855 offers a hitherto confidential blended wine to its private visitors.

“We are not apart, we are aware of the difficulties of the Sauternes appellation and we want to become a driving force again,” says Sandrine Garbay, the cellar master of Château d’Yquem (LVMH group), as evidenced by the launch of a new, very accessible collection: the Sauternes, sold at 60 euros including tax per bottle, while the 1855 premier grand cru supérieur classé is sold at six times the price ($396 including tax for the 2017).

Spotted by the Terre de Vins site, this Sauternes cuvée pursues an objective: “that people enjoy it, in an uncomplexed consumption. We adhere to the spirit of modernization of the consumption of Sauternes wines” explains Sandrine Garbay.The oenologist explains that she has created a blended wine: “of grape varieties, terroirs and vintages, on average 4 to 5 years are blended, including the latest vintage.Like a solera, with a fixed base and the addition of a recent vintage: “Each new bottling is given a new number, giving the chronology of this atypical cuvée with no vintage.

Bulk Sales

Aiming to be drunk as an aperitif and not with foie gras or dessert, this cuvée has been shaped by the desire for accessibility. Its origins date back to 2005, when Pierre Lurton took over the management of Château d’Yquem and decided, after tasting the batches of wines that had been discarded from the sweet wine blend to be sold in bulk*, to offer some of them to the estate’s employees.At the time, 20 to 30% of the volume produced in sweet wines was discarded during the blending of Château d’Yquem.

As climate change has increased the maturity during sorting, production has increased and the volume sent in bulk has risen to an average of 50% sent in bulk (with 60% for the 2018 vintage, which will soon be on the market)” It was a pity to send everything in bulk.In 2014, Sauternes 1 was launched to the employees of the LVMH group (5,000 employees in France),” emphasizes Sandrine Garbay, “Faced with continued demand from LVMH works councils, Château d’Yquem is taking the plunge by offering Sauternes 6 to visitors to its château.

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