Offer Yquem Ex-Château
Thanks to ARVI’s beautiful, decades-long relationship with the King of Sauternes Château d’Yquem, the prestigious estate created EXCLUSIVELY FOR US, ARVI a unique library of EX-CHATEAU vintages, which means that all the wines have been stored in the cellars of Château d’Yquem until now!
Apart from being an Ex-Château allocation, which we all know how important it is by far, ALL the wines will be featuring a special back-label stating that they have been stored in the cellars of the Chateau until the date of the release. Something similar to this: “Sorti de la propriété en janvier 2022".
This is exactly what we call a unique opportunity, almost a once-in-a-lifetime chance. How often does one run into such prestigious vintages and exclusive formats of the only wine rated as Premier Cru Supérior?
You can understand yourself that in terms of value, especially if we talk about older vintages, this is a PRICELESS feature.
- 1990: A vintage that reflects a beautiful hot, dry summer that stopped short of anything excessive. Lasting from 17/9 to 10/10, the harvest was very intense – picking took place every day during that time, except on weekends. The weather was outstanding, the grapes were ideal, and this is an extraordinary, amazingly successful vintage – an archetypal great Yquem with tremendous balance, power, and finesse.
- 1993: A year with extremely difficult weather conditions. It rained continually during the harvest so that only draconian sorting leaving behind a huge part of the crop enabled Yquem to make a wine that is very rare due to the small volume produced. The wine is already quite mature and, unusually for Yquem, people are delighted that they don't have to wait to drink it!
- 1994: Another rather warm year, but with more rain. The harvest began on the 4th of October after 4 weeks of wet weather that unfortunately had a negative impact on plots with very sandy soil. This was followed by two weeks' picking of highly-concentrated grapes. 1994 illustrates the power and finesse of Yquem's clayey plots and also how a great terroir with diverse soils can rise above capricious weather!
- 1995: Very warm, dry weather from May to August was followed by 110 mm of rain in 24 hours... There was enough precipitation in September to trigger botrytis, which then spread well. The weather was very cooperative from that point on. The grapes had 16° potential alcohol when the harvest started, but this rose to 30 within two weeks – by which time we had fortunately finished picking. The waiting paid off, and the grapes picked at different stages combined beautifully to make a wine that is both unique and fabulous!
- 1999: A year of excesses: above-average temperatures, heavy rain in July and September that miraculously spared Yquem, and a tropical month of August. The situation called for considerable patience, but this was rewarded in October with dry weather, and the crop was able to be picked in two passes. The grapes were concentrated and very pure. 1999 is a lucky vintage which, thanks to skilful winemaking, is one of the best of the 1990s.
- 2002: An unusually dry year with excessive temperatures despite an overall lack of sunshine. Ripening was uneven and picking was rather complicated, starting on 12/9 and finishing on 5/11. 2002 is nevertheless one of the vintages that best expresses Yquem's terroir, and features a remarkable balance between sweetness and acidity.
- 2003: This year was strongly marked by hot weather starting in mid-May, building up to record temperatures in August. The Summer of 2003 was totally outside the norm. 35 mm of rain in early September brought on an overwhelming and all-encompassing attack of botrytis that resulted in a unique phenomenon: the entire crop was picked in one single pass! The wine is as elegant as it is atypical. It is said that this vintage is reminiscent of the conditions that led to the making of the first ever botrytised wines in Sauternes.
- 2005: Everything about the 2005 growing season pointed towards a great vintage: moderate water stress, a temperate end to the summer season conducive to good acidity, alternating periods of rain and dry heat for optimum botrytisation, etc. The wine has a phenomenally complex bouquet, confirming the extraordinary quality of the vintage.
- 2006: In light of the extremes of weather from one end of the growing season to the other, this vintage alone suffices to illustrate the dexterity, responsiveness, and expertise of the Yquem team. Overcoming the effects of poor weather (said to be unsurmountable by some...), they coped perfectly with harvesting each plot at the optimum moment.
- 2007: Due to poor weather during much of the growing season, this vintage should, by all rights, be best forgotten. And it is true that summer temperatures were cool, there were 100 mm of precipitation in August, ripening was very uneven, there were burst berries, etc. However, a miraculous and radical change in the weather propitious to botrytis turned what started out as a handicap to a decisive advantage. In fact, the variety and complexity of grapes brought in at different stages produced a fantastic wine.
- 2008: A year of capricious weather, with alternating hot and cold, including frost in April that did no great harm, but reduced the potential crop. A cold, dry period arrived in September, causing slow ripening in Sémillon conducive to great aromatic purity. The end result is a subtle combination of richness and a rare vivaciousness.
- 2010: A cool year, but one made interesting thanks to a warm, dry summer. The weather was ideal during the harvest and the grapes were in great condition. It was vital to pick only the best terroirs and to avoid the temptation of too large a crop by a rigorous sorting and selection during blending. The result is brilliant and more profound that anyone had dared to hope.
- 2011: An exciting vintage, where Yquem's diverse terroirs played a major role in juggling sugar levels that varied between rich, botrytised grapes and those less affected by noble rot, but full of amazing flavours that contributed enormously to the wine's aromatic complexity. The cellar team still remembers the heady fragrance that emerged from the winepress.
- 2013: This was a year of tremendous contrasts. Spring was abnormally cool and wet, which meant that flowering was very spread out – a factor conducive to complexity at Yquem. Summer was magnificent! Cool weather in September retained the grapes' freshness, whereas summerlike conditions returned in October. The harvest took place under ideal conditions. This 2013 is very "botrytised", with richness and candied fruit flavours. The wine's freshness and power are comparable to 2001 and the degree of botrytis is reminiscent of 2007.
- 2014: The harvest began very early, on the 5th of September, and lasted 9 weeks. This made it possible to reflect all the diversity of a year in which both flowering and véraison were very spread out. Picking began especially early at Yquem in 2014. Some 25% of the crop was brought in before the 15th of September, providing a rare and precious background of acidity.
- 2015: “Following a very long harvest stretching nearly two months, the 2015 Château d'Yquem came in at 13.9% alcohol and 144 grams per liter of residual sugar, sporting a pH of 3.65 and six grams per liter of tartaric acid. None of these numbers, however, even remotely begin to tell you how profound this wine is. The nose opens with electric notes of ripe pineapples, green mango, orange blossoms and lemon tart with hints of fungi, lime zest, crushed rocks and jasmine. The freshness on the palate is just astonishing, permeating and lifting layer upon layer of tropical fruits and earthy notions, all encased in a sumptuous texture and culminating in a very, very long, mineral-tinged finish. Truly, this is a legendary vintage for d'Yquem. I've been conservative with my drinking window here, and I would not be at all surprised if our descendants are drinking this vintage well into the next century.” Robert Parker, 100 points
- 2016: “Containing 135 grams per liter of residual sugar, the pale lemon-gold colored 2016 d'Yquem leaps from the glass with honeyed apricots, pineapple, green mango, crushed rocks, candied ginger, coriander seed and citrus peel with hints of orange blossom. The palate is very tightly wound, vibrant and refreshing with layer upon layer of minerals and spices, finishing with epic poise and persistence.” Robert Parker, 98+ points
- 2017: “There was no frost at d’Yquem in 2017, and botrytis was very regular and even this vintage. The nose opens with very pure notes of freshly sliced oranges, yuzu and lemon barley water with hints of white pepper, fresh ginger and lime cordial. The incredibly rich, unctuous sweetness (148 grams per liter of residual sugar) is beautifully marbled with bright, vivacious citrus fruit and spice flavors, while lifted by well-knit freshness, and it finishes with epic length and great depth.” Robert Parker, 97-99 points
- 2018: “The 2018 d'Yquem is all lime cordial, grapefruit oil and mandarin peel to begin. With a little coaxing, the fireworks really begin, letting off a whole array of honeysuckle, candied ginger, dried pineapple, lemon pastilles, chalk dust and sea spray scents, followed by a savory undercurrent of shaved almonds, allspice and baking bread. The palate is an exercise in polish and poise, featuring the most gorgeously creamy texture and bright, sparkling freshness, framing all the densely laden tropical and citrus fruit layers, finishing with a powerful BANG of profound floral and spice perfume. It is wonderfully sweet, yes, but that—paradoxically for a "sweet wine"—is almost beside the point.” Robert Parker, 98 points