I was very lucky to drink my first (and until now last) glass of Château d’Yquem, right in Château d’Yquem. An experience that I will always remember, and that I will render unforgettable by sharing it with you.
Before visiting Château d’Yquem and tasting its wine, I’ve heard many things about it, of course. However, in my mind, I could only gather couple of keywords about it;
With these keywords in my mind, we started our visit to the château. As we entered, I’ve lost those words. I’ve even lost my breath, actually. I was in a secret garden, a garden that I could only visit in my dreams. In front of me, there was a real castle! Luckily, the visit didn’t start immediately, so I had time to wander in the nice garden and watch the breathtaking view from of the vineyards for couple of minutes. To tell the truth, this was one of the few moments in my life that I wish I could stop the time, and spend hours in that garden.
As our guide welcomed us, she took us to the garden behind the château and she started to tell the story under this tree. Its history is impressing, the part that makes me appreciate more the château is their philosophy of production. They only allow the grapes with the best condition (it means the exact state of the noble rot*) to enter to the production. If none of the grapes has that condition that year, they simply don’t make production that year. (For example, they didn’t produce any Château d’Yquem in 2012.) They take the risk of not having wine but never take the risk of decreasing their quality. Another important point in their production is how they pick the grapes, not with bunches, but berry by berry and by passing through a strict quality control process. This requires a really successful team of harvesters, consists of approximately 200 pickers in total, which is trained specifically year by year to meet the characteristics of the picking. All in all, the yield of the production is only 8 hl per hectare, which approximately gives a glass of wine from a single plant. The difficulty of the production is not limited with the harvest since it also requires a special attention during fermentation and aging. They use 100 % new French oak, this means they have to renew all the barrels every year. It takes 2 years from the harvest until it can be sold as bottle. This wine, in the end, is not made only with grapes but also of with the experience, patience and hard work of man.
As we are informed about the history and the production process, we went to the production area to see where the grapes are pressed and fermented. Following, we passed to underground barrel room to see where the wines are aged. We finished our visit and came to the best part, tasting room.
Our guide had already prepared us a tasting of Château d’Yquem 2011. Here are my tasting notes:
After the visit, I tried to collect back my keywords, but it was not possible. Those words were replaced with the aromas of the wine in my nose, breathtaking views in my eyes and appreciation feeling in my heart. I close my eyes now and I can still feel those moments in Château d’Yquem.
I thank to Château d’Yquem to this unforgettable experience.
All images © 2017 by Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.