Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters

Hi All,
We were having a side discussion about the '06 Yquem in the Sales and Discounts thread after I had posted that Union Square Wines in New York has this vintage for the unheard price of $150 for a 375ml bottle (half of what other places are charging). Yquem is rarely, if ever, half off.

I thought it best to start a new thread and post the info below. For those who might have purchased for investment reasons PM me and I can forward this email for your records.

I recently received an email from Florence Soustre, Secrétaire de Direction of Château d'Yquem. I had inquired a while ago why the 2006 was released so early.
Although the attached file she sent did not answer my question directly I thought the vintage info was still interesting and worth sharing for those who took the plunge and purchased.


2006 VINTAGE

WEATHER:
Weather during the 2006 growing season was very unusual: a cold winter was followed, almost without transition, by very warm temperatures that became progressively hotter as spring went on, culminating in a heat wave in July (the hottest month of July ever recorded, just behind the absolute record set in August 2003). However, August was much cooler than usual. As if these ups and downs were not enough, there were record highs once again in September and October. Rainfall was slightly lower than average until July, but increased greatly in August and especially September (twice the monthly average).
By late July, we were convinced that the harvest would be early thanks to the accumulated temperatures and that the crop had superb potential. However, nature rather upset things in August (with cool weather) and September (wet weather), making this vintage altogether atypical and complex. The challenge of the 2006 vintage is to reflect the full potential of a year with complicated weather patterns. Close observation and intimate knowledge of the vineyard were essential in 2006 due to very contrasting situations with regard to soils and grape varieties.

THE HARVEST:
By early September, there were three very different situations in the vineyard:
 Sémillon grapes on warm, gravelly, and generally early-ripening soils had found it difficult to cope with the rollercoaster-like weather. There were split skins in the centre of many bunches as well as barely visible, but nevertheless harmful acetic spoilage.
 Grapes at the top of later-maturing clay slopes were perfectly ripe, but had no trace of botrytis.
 Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes on the middle and at the foot of slopes had developed perfectly. Ripening two weeks ahead of a normal year, they had become botrytised thanks to rain in late August and concentrated due to temperatures of 30°C in early September.
We began a first, very early wave of picking on this third type of terroir from the 6th to the 8th of September, followed by a second wave from the 11th to the 13th. This meant that we were able to bring in very high quality grapes, representing a third of the 2006 final blend, just before heavy showers (100 mm) in mid-September.





Thanks to dry weather on the 18th of September, we were able to go though several plots damaged by rain to remove contaminated grapes. From the 21st to the 23rd, we carried out a third wave of picking of superb grapes on the third type of terroir mentioned above.
More rainfall from the 21st to the 25th of September sparked the uniform growth of noble rot on the remaining slowest-ripening plots at Yquem.
We waited until the 27th for a fourth wave of picking on plots that are traditionally well-botritysed before starting to pick recently-botrytised ones on the 28th. Seeing as the beautiful weather at this time lasted over the weekend of the 1st of October, we were able to finish a 5th and final wave of picking in certain targeted plots at the same time as we went over the rest of the vineyard looking for any other perfectly concentrated, rich, pure grapes.
It rained again on the 3rd of October and we had to wait until the 9th to pick any last grapes. From then until the 12th of October, we cut off unhealthy grapes and left them on the ground.

PROFILE:
The 2006 harvest was both challenging and exciting. The picking techniques at Yquem were decisive in harvesting ripe, botrytised grapes at the right time, in the right place, without wasting energy on less worthwhile plots.
2006 illustrates the benefit of varied terroirs and the importance of knowing them perfectly in order to make the most of the different soils and grape varieties under unusual weather conditions.

Alcohol by volume: 14°
Residual sugar: 125g/L
Total acidity: 4g/L H2SO4



SPECIALIST'S TASTING NOTES

This is very long and intense. Really impressive. Full and very sweet, yet racy and fresh, with spicy botrytis character. Fantastic. 95/100

J. Suckling – Wine Spectator 4/04/07

According to Pierre Lurton, it will be the finest they have yet made under the new ownership. It is certainly impressive, and appears to be nearly as promising as the 2001, which I thought was perfect.

R. Parker




otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith

Damn, man. I've always wanted to get one of these bottles for some special day. Now I may have to get a few.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

HitAnyKey42


quality posts: 29 Private Messages HitAnyKey42
otolith wrote:Damn, man. I've always wanted to get one of these bottles for some special day. Now I may have to get a few.



And makes me smile that I let her "convince" me to buy a bottle. LOL

Thanks so much for obtaining that info Kathy. I'm glad to have so much detailed info about the one vintage I now own.

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otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith

Did a little searching, and was able to pick up some of the 02 for 98 a bottle.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

kylemittskus


quality posts: 230 Private Messages kylemittskus
otolith wrote:Did a little searching, and was able to pick up some of the 02 for 98 a bottle.



Wow. That seems like an amazing deal.

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

HitAnyKey42


quality posts: 29 Private Messages HitAnyKey42
otolith wrote:Did a little searching, and was able to pick up some of the 02 for 98 a bottle.



Wow, where'd you find that? And I assume you mean the half bottles, right?

My Cellar
In a Glorious Marriage.Woot with cheron98
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polarbear22


quality posts: 35 Private Messages polarbear22
otolith wrote:Did a little searching, and was able to pick up some of the 02 for 98 a bottle.


Did you buy them out, or is there any left? I can likely have them ship to my parents for future pick up.

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otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith

He only had 4 bottles left of the 375ml, and, well, I have them all now.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith

This is a local wine store. He's doing inventory tomorrow, so I could have gotten a great deal on a TON of wine. As it stands, I bought a lot. His prices tend to run high, but I was able to do some price checking before I went in there, and I got better prices than what I could find on wine-searcher.

He only had 4 bottles left of the 375ml, and, well, I have them all now.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
otolith wrote:Did a little searching, and was able to pick up some of the 02 for 98 a bottle.



That's a really great price. I paid $140 for mine. Awesome!


otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith
Krugsters wrote:That's a really great price. I paid $140 for mine. Awesome!



So from your other post about the '06, do you think it's legit? If so, I'd really like to order some. Amazingly, they can ship to me.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
otolith wrote:So from your other post about the '06, do you think it's legit? If so, I'd really like to order some. Amazingly, they can ship to me.



Yes, it's completely legit. I have a bottle from USW and it authentic. What I'm thinking is USW overbought a while ago before the economy turned perhaps.


otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith
Krugsters wrote:Yes, it's completely legit. I have a bottle from USW and it authentic. What I'm thinking is USW overbought a while ago before the economy turned perhaps.



Cool, thanks. I think I'm going to have to order some of this.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
otolith wrote:Cool, thanks. I think I'm going to have to order some of this.



I don't think you can go too wrong at this price.

Cesare suggests I change the the name of this thread to general Yquem and dessert wines. I think it's a great idea.


otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith
Krugsters wrote:I don't think you can go too wrong at this price.

Cesare suggests I change the the name of this thread to general Yquem and dessert wines. I think it's a great idea.



Ordered.

Man, with this, and the weekend purchases, and the wine.woot.off (WD hit a home run with his lineup, I'm spent. *shrug*

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

CAGrl


quality posts: 13 Private Messages CAGrl

I'm a noob so I was just curious why this wine was so special. Thanks.

gcdyersb


quality posts: 141 Private Messages gcdyersb
CAGrl wrote:I'm a noob so I was just curious why this wine was so special. Thanks.



It's historically a great wine made from Botrytised grapes. These grapes develop a special rot, noble rot, caused by the Botrytis fungus. D'Yquem isn't the only producer of this style of wine, but over centuries its wines have proven to age pretty much forever. They are in great demand by collectors, kings, emperors, nobles and other high class folks. D'Yquem was also a major player in the Hardy Rodenstock scandal (google it!).

Today D'Yquem is owned by luxury brand corporation LVMH. On one hand, high prices mean the grapes get the absolute best treatment. This will be among the best wines of its style. But it will also be overpriced because it is sold by a marketing agency that is selling you not just the juice, but the bottle and name as a proxy for class.

Cabernet Franc: it's not just for blending! It's also for blogging.

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters

I'd also like to add that the yield at Yquem is kept very low thus adding to the cost to produce. Even before the hostile takeover by LVMH group prices have always been high for Yquem.

"The harvesting is carefully timed, and at least a half dozen "tris" are undertaken each year to ensure that only the botrytized grapes are selected. The resulting yield is never more than 900 litres per hectare, compared to the usual 2,000 to 3,000 litres in Sauternes. The grapes are pressed three times and transferred to oak barrels for maturation over a period of three and a half years."

This all makes for a special wine.


gcdyersb


quality posts: 141 Private Messages gcdyersb
Krugsters wrote:I'd also like to add that the yield at Yquem is kept very low thus adding to the cost to produce. Even before the hostile takeover by LVMH group prices have always been high for Yquem.

"The harvesting is carefully timed, and at least a half dozen "tris" are undertaken each year to ensure that only the botrytized grapes are selected. The resulting yield is never more than 900 litres per hectare, compared to the usual 2,000 to 3,000 litres in Sauternes. The grapes are pressed three times and transferred to oak barrels for maturation over a period of three and a half years."

This all makes for a special wine.



Those are seriously low yields! 20-40 hL/hectare, sometimes more, is common for top notch table wine. Less than 1 hL/hectare is insane.

Still, I do not trust LVMH on the marketing end.

Cabernet Franc: it's not just for blending! It's also for blogging.

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
gcdyersb wrote:Those are seriously low yields! 20-40 hL/hectare, sometimes more, is common for top notch table wine. Less than 1 hL/hectare is insane.

Still, I do not trust LVMH on the marketing end.


I tried to unsuccessfully edit my post today that addressed LVMH.

LVMH, according to sources is apparently leaving the folks at Yquem alone from all reports. Pierre Lurton seems to be overseeing, not interfering.

That said, we'll just have to wait and see how future vintages play out. LVMH acquired Yquem in 1999 and A. Lur Saluces' last vintage was 2003.

Under the Lur Saluces family control (I believe since the late 1700's) a vintage was never released if the grapes were not up to par. And it was set at a very high bar. A number of vintages were "lost" (declassified and sold to bulk producers and not bottled at the chateau). Other years, all the grapes have been completely disposed of.
Even in less successful years up to 10 tris ensure only the best grapes will be picked at he most optimal harvest time.
Plus, they only use the very best new oak aged for three years. Whew!

One more interesting fact: You're told at Yquem when you go on the tour that it takes a whole vine to produce just one glass of Yquem.

So basically you will never come across a bad bottle of Yquem. Ever. Sure, some vintages are weaker than others but, unless it's corked, it will be of high quality.

I do feel the same way about LVMH as you do. Only time will tell but so far the prices have gone up only slightly and like I said above they seem to be keeping their noses appropriately stuck to their fancy handbags. Since the brand was already in place I think they'd decided not to fix what was never broken.

Fingers crossed.




otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith

LVMH holds quite a few companies. Based on their history, have they screwed around with other wineries they own? Heck, they own Dom Perignon, for that matter. Have they screwed up that company? That's probably the best idea of what, if anything, they'll do with d'Yquem, one would think.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
otolith wrote:LVMH holds quite a few companies. Based on their history, have they screwed around with other wineries they own? Heck, they own Dom Perignon, for that matter. Have they screwed up that company? That's probably the best idea of what, if anything, they'll do with d'Yquem, one would think.



That I don't know. I don't know much about the practices at Dom since I don't collect or drink it too much (one expensive taste is enough!)

Perhaps gcdyersb has heard more about this. All I can say is that I follow Yquem closely and the word in the cellar is that LVMH is leaving them alone. As long as they continue to be profitable I think this will be the case.

I am waiting with bated breath for the first bad season at the vineyard. They have been blessed with good weather since LVMH took hold with '99 being the weakest. Will they bottle?

If they bottle in a bad year I think I will move over to Château Guiraud.*sigh*


gcdyersb


quality posts: 141 Private Messages gcdyersb
Krugsters wrote:Perhaps gcdyersb has heard more about this. All I can say is that I follow Yquem closely and the word in the cellar is that LVMH is leaving them alone. As long as they continue to be profitable I think this will be the case.



I have no idea as to how LVMH interacts with the winery itself. It's simply the idea they are involved that makes me squirm. You can be fairly certain the LVMH execs who are looking to optimize profits view D'Yquem as a brand or commodity, not a product of nature that varies by vintage.

Even if they allow the winery to be autonomous, they will see added value in branding. Advertising has a price, but if the added price point covers the advertising costs, they do it. And the consumer foots the bill. I'd also expect with a well-capitalized corporation, they can work to manipulate the supply in the market by holding back when demand is soft. I just see them as cynical, like the Bordeaux negociant system.

Cabernet Franc: it's not just for blending! It's also for blogging.

mother


quality posts: 15 Private Messages mother

Don't look now but WL has 96 & 97 375s of D'Yquem going for $135...

Cesare


quality posts: 1618 Private Messages Cesare

x-post from discounts:
1996 and 1997 Chateau d'Yquem presale at WL, $134.98 per half-bottle. Link

-il Cesare
Sole Absolute Triple
Exalted High Tastemaster Supreme
“In the entire world there are only a few sounds that bring joy to all but the most jaded. One is the murmur of a kitten purring. Another is the thwack of a well-pitched baseball hitting a perfectly swung bat. And the third is the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle of wine.” —George Taber

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
Cesare wrote:x-post from discounts:
1996 and 1997 Chateau d'Yquem presale at WL, $134.98 per half-bottle. Link



Back in the day I paid $150 for the '96 and $115 for the '97.


mother


quality posts: 15 Private Messages mother
mother wrote:Don't look now but WL has 96 & 97 375s of D'Yquem going for $135...



And now the '98 for $129...

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
mother wrote:And now the '98 for $129...



Another great price. I paid $125 back in the day. With the economy being what it is this might be the reason for the drop in price.
If you can afford it this is a good time to snatch these up.
Sutcliffe loved the 98.


darlenee1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages darlenee1

Hey, if anyone has any 95 d'Yquem they would be willing to part with, please let me know. It's my daughter's birth year, and it would be an awesome thing to open on her 21st (six years from now).

Ran out of room for the wines, and can't think of a good quote for now

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
darlenee1 wrote:Hey, if anyone has any 95 d'Yquem they would be willing to part with, please let me know. It's my daughter's birth year, and it would be an awesome thing to open on her 21st (six years from now).



That's become a pricey vintage.
Do you want a 375ml or 750ml?

I can keep my eye out for you.


darlenee1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages darlenee1
Krugsters wrote:That's become a pricey vintage.
Do you want a 375ml or 750ml?

I can keep my eye out for you.



A 375 should do it. There is a 750 on winebid right now.

Ran out of room for the wines, and can't think of a good quote for now

Krugsters


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Krugsters
darlenee1 wrote:A 375 should do it. There is a 750 on winebid right now.



Yeah. I know I saw that one. That's about how much they are going for right now, around $300 for a full size bottle.

The '81 is a great price tho. That's normally a lot more a supposedly the nicest vintage of the '80's.


nallie


quality posts: 8 Private Messages nallie
mother wrote:And now the '98 for $129...



Coupon codes available? Google gives nada.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - h.keller
"If you can do something about it, there is no need to worry. If you cannot do anything about it, there is no use in worrying." - j.white (and also Shantideva)

Cesare


quality posts: 1618 Private Messages Cesare
nallie wrote:Coupon codes available? Google gives nada.



Coupon? Google? It's right on their site.
Here is the original email.
Note- it's a futures item.

-il Cesare
Sole Absolute Triple
Exalted High Tastemaster Supreme
“In the entire world there are only a few sounds that bring joy to all but the most jaded. One is the murmur of a kitten purring. Another is the thwack of a well-pitched baseball hitting a perfectly swung bat. And the third is the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle of wine.” —George Taber

nallie


quality posts: 8 Private Messages nallie
Cesare wrote:Coupon? Google? It's right on their site.
Here is the original email.
Note- it's a futures item.



Thanks, C. What I meant, though, was if anyone knew of a free shipping code or something. I'm stingy that way.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - h.keller
"If you can do something about it, there is no need to worry. If you cannot do anything about it, there is no use in worrying." - j.white (and also Shantideva)

Cesare


quality posts: 1618 Private Messages Cesare
nallie wrote:Thanks, C. What I meant, though, was if anyone knew of a free shipping code or something. I'm stingy that way.



Ah yes the elusive free shipping. None right now. The searcher code stopped working recently, I think after people talked about it on cinderella.

-il Cesare
Sole Absolute Triple
Exalted High Tastemaster Supreme
“In the entire world there are only a few sounds that bring joy to all but the most jaded. One is the murmur of a kitten purring. Another is the thwack of a well-pitched baseball hitting a perfectly swung bat. And the third is the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle of wine.” —George Taber

nallie


quality posts: 8 Private Messages nallie
Cesare wrote:Ah yes the elusive free shipping. None right now. The searcher code stopped working recently, I think after people talked about it on cinderella.



Oh well, at least I know I'm not missing a potential saving. Thank you!

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - h.keller
"If you can do something about it, there is no need to worry. If you cannot do anything about it, there is no use in worrying." - j.white (and also Shantideva)

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu

off vintage yquem (which 2006 is..) can be found regularly for $99-140 (375ml). You might as well invest in ones with age.

I bought a 6 pack of 1998 just 2 months ago from WineExchange for $600.. straight from the chateau and still in the OWC (original wooden case). Also got 3 02's mid last year for $99.

Just did a quick search on wine-searcher pro and turned up quite a bit of dyquem for sub $140 in splits.

http://www.wine-searcher.com/prof/wine-select.lml?Xwinenameid=&Xfromsearch=Y&Xwinename=dyquem&Xvintage=&Xkeyword_mode=A&Xlocation=USA&Xstate=ANY&Xcurrencycode=USD&Xlist_format=N&Xbottle_size=H%2Fbottle+%28375ml%29&Xprice_set=CUR&Xprice_min=&Xprice_max=&searchbutton=++++++Search++++++

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
otolith wrote:This is a local wine store. He's doing inventory tomorrow, so I could have gotten a great deal on a TON of wine. As it stands, I bought a lot. His prices tend to run high, but I was able to do some price checking before I went in there, and I got better prices than what I could find on wine-searcher.

He only had 4 bottles left of the 375ml, and, well, I have them all now.




The 02 is far more open than the other recent vintages. It doesn't have the thickness of fruit of the vintages around it (2001 was an EPIC year for D'yquem) but it's not as overwhelming on the palate.

You should try one, let it sit over the course of a day and see how you like it. THis babies last forever in the bottle.. even with the cork popped. I drank a 83 over the course of 4 days.

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu


also, look for stores with "large" quantities of D'yquem, that almost (almost) always means it comes straight from the storage of the Chateau. In this economy the Chateaus are starting to release old inventory and us the buyers are getting the benefits of perfectly stored wine at rock bottom prices!