13 mar: See my tasting note.
As predicted here in Pierre Lurton on 2005, the Château d'Yquem 2002 has just been released. The 2002 vintage from this legendary sweet white bordeaux estate is on offer this morning from the likes of Farr Vintners at £1,200 a case (whether halves, bottles or, for the party-minded, magnums). This will be the last vintage of Yquem to be released for immediate shipment as now that it is owned by LVMH rather than the Lur-Saluces family, it is being sold only en primeur in the year following the harvest (three years before physical release).
The 2002 vintage in Sauternes was small in quantity (5,000 cases at Yquem, half as much as was produced in 2001). There was a small tri through the vineyard in September but the bulk of the botrytised grapes were picked well after the rains of mid October between 19 oct and 05 nov. Scroll down my tasting notes on bordeaux 2002 to find those on sweet whites, or just Ctrl + F 'Climens'. The wines are generally attractive and should be ready for drinking relatively young – certainly much earlier than the glamorous 2001 vintage – although no-one apart from a few Bordeaux negociants has yet tasted this wine. I have reason to believe that I may be among the first to do so in the very near future and will of course post my tasting notes when I do. (See tasting note added 13 mar.)
Manager of Yqyem (and Cheval Blanc) comments: "This 2002 is a lovely vintage. It is very typical of its appellation, with beautiful, pure hints of candied fruit. It enchants the palate thanks to its marked refinement, voluptuousness and alluring freshness. This vintage is so forthcoming that it enables wine lovers to enter the universe of Yquem as of now. Alcohol 14 degrees, residual sugars : 129g/l."
Farr are currently offering Yquem 2001 at £2,900 a case for halves and £2.600 for bottles.
The dry wine Ygrec 2004 is also on offer at £450 a case. Again, this has hardly been exposed to the outside world, but as you can see from my tasting notes on 2004 dry white bordeaux, this was a very successful vintage for other dry whites – even if they are made in a very different way, not being off-cuts of sweet white wine production.