Archive for the ‘2011 Sauternes’ Category

2011 Sauternes Revisited

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Last year many of you will have taken delivery of some 2011 Sauternes so we thought it would be a good idea to see how they are drinking now – superbly as it happens! I also report below on the vintage generally (it’s easy to forget the excellent 2011 Sauternes vintage after the fantastic 2009s and 2010s) and how a panel of UK wine experts found the wines when they were tasted last week at the annual Southwold tasting.

To help you find a particular wine that you may have bought we’ve filmed everything in alphabetical order this time – enjoy the videos!  Bill Blatch

2011 Summary

2011 Sauternes A to C

2011 Sauternes D to G

2011 Sauternes L to N

2011 Sauternes R to Y

2011 Yquem – An Insane Precociousness!

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

We just happened upon the information sheets below for Chateau d’Yquem 2011 which, you will remember was never released in 2012.

Could it finally be that this remarkable wine is about to become available?  Contact Steve at if you are interested in finding out more as and when things happen as we may be able to offer a very small allocation.

2011 Yquem

2011 Yquem – Technical Information

As a reminder here are some of our previous posts about 2011 Yquem:

2011 Yquem Tasting

What Price 2011 Chateau d’Yquem?

What Price 2011 Chateau d’Yquem? STOP PRESS

Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

What Price 2011 Château d’Yquem? STOP PRESS

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

It turns out the price fetched in my previous post for the case of 2011 Château d’Yquem included a personal tour of the property and lunch for four people so there isn’t a direct comparison to be made with other vintages.  There were 2 similar lots offered last week.  Firstly, in the UK at the Christie’s auction on Thursday 21st February someone secured a case at £8,050.  Even more astonishingly another lot in the US at the Sotheby’s auction on Saturday 23rd February fetched £16,175.

Maybe we should be offering an al fresco picnic overlooking the vineyards of Yquem when the wine is eventually available?  Any takers?

We will, of course, let you know when the wine is on general release which should be soon.  It was certainly sensational when tasted en primeur!  Bill Blatch

What Price 2011 Château d’Yquem?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

The 2011 vintage of Château d’Yquem wasn’t released last year because of the depressed market conditions.  Now we also know that there will be no 2012 vintage produced.  At the time they felt that they had made a fantastic wine that merited releasing at a more propitious moment.  It still hasn’t been released onto the general market but some clever pre-release promotion has been taking place.  A case was put up for sale at a French auction last week with the bottle size to be decided by the customer.

I contacted the château about this unusual strategy and their response was very interesting.  The auction sale included the 2011 as a way of conjuring up support for the vintage, which may not have been the case if it had “opened” through the normal channels.  It was felt that the reputation of Sauternes 2011, very often totally wrongly associated with the lighter style of the reds when in fact it is a great Sauternes vintage, would dampen a general offer.  This is therefore yet to come at an unspecified date.  They made it very clear that this is just a little toe in the water just to foster support (which it did as it sold very well) and in no way suggests that Yquem will be pursuing a Latour policy.

And the price?  Well a case sold for 9,844 Euros or roughly £8,175, much higher than the prices achieved at the auction for the 1988, 1989 or 1990 vintages.  Looking at Liv-Ex trade prices this is over twice the price of the 2009, nearly twice the price of the 2001 and higher than the most recent sales of the 1975 and 1967 vintages.

The bar has been set!  Bill Blatch

2011 Sauternes – Perfect for Early Drinking?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

The books will be closing soon on 2011 Sauternes En Primeur so I thought I’d taste the wines just one more time before they begin their lengthy sojourn in barrel.  Often this is a better time to taste than April as the final ‘assemblage’ has more often than not been done and you get a slightly better idea of what a wine will actually be like in bottle.

The good news is that the wines are just as fantastically fresh as in the Spring.  As a result this is probably one of the best vintages ever for drinking young – I’ve no idea how they will age but why wait as they are incredibly enjoyable even now?

Below are several videos from my tastings which are well worth a look when you have a minute or two.  First a summary of how the wines are tasting generally:

The next video covers my thoughts on the First Growths from Clos Haut-Peyraguey to Lafaurie-Peyraguey:

And next covers the rest from Rabaud Promis to La Tour Blanche (can you spot the deliberate mistake?):

Did you spot it?  This video covers our best selling 2011 Sauternes (Raymond-Lafon)  and should correct it!

And here is the video covering the 2011 Barsac from Climens that I promised:

And finally but by no means least I retreated to my cellar to record a conversation I had with Charles Chevallier from Rieussec:

It is very close to ‘last orders’ now so if you would like any of these wines click on this link – 2011 Sauternes.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2011 Domaine de l’Alliance – Last But Not Least

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

In the last year Daniel Alibrand at Domaine de l’Alliance has finally gained the recognition his wines deserve.  He has secured US and UK distribution for most of his production and we couldn’t be more delighted for him.  His persistence in sticking to his principles of making top quality Sauternes seems to have finally paid off.

Happily, he hasn’t forgotten those who have helped him along the way and we have a small allocation of the 2011 – his best wine yet.  Hurry if you would like to make sure of your allocation by clicking on the link below (NB Daniel’s cases are 6 x 50cl bottles so if you want a whole case just order six 50cl bottles):

2011 Domaine de l’Alliance

And that’s it! With Chateau d’Yquem not releasing now is the time to finalise your 2011 Sauternes order!  To see all the wines you can either go to the 2011 Sauternes page at our online shop here – 2011 Sauternes (just click on the link)

Or, we’ve put together all my tasting notes in one place together with the 2011 Vintage Report here – 2011 Sauternes Tasting Notes and Report (again just click on the link)

Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2011 d’Yquem will not be released En Primeur

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

In a move that echoes the decision of Chateau Latour to withdraw from the En Primeur market, Chateau d’Yquem have decided not to release the 2011 vintage….yet!?  Don’t worry too much though as there are some fantastic alternative suggestions below – just read on.

This makes business sense as, for the red wines at least, I can’t remember such a disappointing En Primeur campaign with release after release meeting with stony silence from buyers across the world.  Much better to sell your wine in a more positive climate and, frankly, I’m surprised that more didn’t take this line.  Instead brand Bordeaux has taken a big negative hit as a result of the initially delayed and then hastily rushed series of openings at prices mostly beyond what the market was willing to pay.

Thankfully Sauternes has rightfully emerged with an intact reputation, mainly because prices were consistent with the quality of the vintage which was, as everyone realises, excellent in 2011.  At the same time economic conditions were taken into account and the 2011’s were for the most part cheaper than the 2010’s and 2009’s, representing excellent value.

The case of Chateau d’Yquem is, however, a little different as recent prices have been high as a policy of following the prices of the red First Growths has been adopted.  I absolutely agree that as a wine it is at least the equal of anything else produced in Bordeaux, especially in 2011 where it was without doubt the wine of the vintage, but this does mean that older vintages of Yquem and other top Sauternes and Barsac do look relatively well priced at the moment.

So here are a few suggestions for anyone disappointed not to have the opportunity to buy some 2011 Chateau d’Yquem:

Chateau Raymond-Lafon – the next best thing, literally speaking, to Yquem, especially as some of the vineyards used to belong to Yquem before the property was bought by Yquem’s former manager, Pierre Meslier, in 1972.  The 2011 Chateau Raymond-Lafon has been our best selling Sauternes precisely because of its super quality to price ratio, so click on the link above to buy some before the En Primeur offer closes.

Another wine with strong Yquem connections is the 2011 Chateau de Fargues, owned by Comte Alexander de Lur Saluces, in charge at Yquem when Pierre Meslier of Raymond-Lafon was manager and until the property was sold to LMVH in 2004.  Not as exceptional value as Raymond-Lafon but this is an exquisite wine of the very highest quality – I will certainly be buying some personally as this chateau has been known to produce wines that reduce me to tears of joy!  If you’d like to join me in buying a few bottles or more just click on the link above.

And finally, if Yquem it must be, then there is real value in older vintages and nowhere better than the 1998 Chateau d’Yquem of which we have a few cases of 12 half bottles at only just over £1,000 (the 2007 in comparison is around £2,500) – once again just click on the click to go directly to this wine in our online shop.

2011 Sauternes Chart

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

The 2011 Sauternes Chart has been updated to include a few new wines released this week!  Below are the top wines according to the average scores from a ‘shrivel’ of 15 famous critics (an appropriate collective noun!).

The first thing to point out is that, by everyone’s reckoning, Château d’Yquem is the best 2011 wine across Bordeaux (reds and whites) and that the top 10 Sauternes wines would all make the top 30 overall Bordeaux wines on average scores – again demonstrating that 2011 is a superb vintage in Sauternes compared to the rest of Bordeaux (as detailed in my 2011 Sauternes Report).

Secondly, the wines nearly all score much higher than they did in 2010 and are all, so far, less expensive.  This makes them all good buys in my opinion with some exceptional value wines throughout the chart!  Prices for the remaining wines will be out soon.

For a full list click here – 2011 Sauternes En Primeur or click on any of the wine names or prices below for full tasting notes or to buy.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

1.      Château d’Yquem, average score = 96.5 (2010 = 95.5)
2.      Château Climens = 94.9 (2010 = 92.6) – released at £64.15/bt
3.      L’Extravagant de Doisy Daëne = 94.2 (2010 = 95.6) – £255.00/bt
4.      Château Suduiraut = 93.6 (2010 = 92.1) – £40.85/bt
5=.   Château Guiraud = 92.9 (2010 = 91.2) – £27.90/bt
5=.   Château Rieussec = 92.9 (2010 = 91.2) – £40.40/bt
5=.   Château Coutet = 92.9 (2010 = 91.3) – £38.90/bt
8.      Château Doisy Daëne = 92.8 (2010 = 90.6) – £24.50/bt
9=.   Château Raymond Lafon = 92.6 (2010 = 90.6) – £22.10/bt
9=.   Château de Fargues = 92.6 (2010 = 90.0) – £68.25/bt
11.   Château Doisy-Védrines = 92.5 (2010 = 90.2) – £19.15/bt
12.    Château de Rayne-Vigneau = 92.2 (2010 = 88.7) – £24.55/bt
13.    Clos Haut-Peyraguey = 92.0 (2010 = 89.4) – £27.45/bt
14.    Château La Tour-Blanche = 91.9 (2010 = 90.3) – £32.50/bt
15.    Château Nairac= 91.8 (2010 = 89.5) – £31.25/bt
16.    Château Sigalas-Rabaud = 91.6 (2010 = 88.7) – £26.50/bt
17.    Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey = 91.5 (2010 = 90.0) – £23.45/bt
18.    Château Rabaud-Promis = 91.1 (2010 = 89.4) – N/A*
19.    Château de Myrat = 90.8 (2010 = 88.0) – £17.50/bt
20.    Château Caillou = 90.6 (2010 = 86.4) – £17.50/bt
21.    Château de Malle = 90.3 (2010 = 87.5) – £21.10/bt
22.    Château Filhot = 90.0 (2010 = 86.2) – £14.15/bt
23.    Château d’Arche = 89.8 (2010 = 85.7) – £16.30/bt
24.    Château Romer du Hayot = 89.5 (2010 = 84.8) – £11.25/bt
25=. Château Lamothe-Guignard = 89.3 (2010 = 85.1) – £13.50/bt
25=. Château Haut-Bergeron = 89.3 (2010 = 86.4) – £14.55/bt
27=. Château Bastor Lamontagne = 89.2 (2010 = 86.6) – £13.30/bt
27=. Château Broustet = 89.2 (2010 = 85.2) – £12.75/bt
29.    Domaine de l’Alliance = 89.0 (2010 = 84.5)
30.    Château Cantegril = 88.9 (2010 = 85.0) – £12.50/bt
31.    Château Liot = 88.5 (2010 = 80.7) – £11.25/bt
32.    Château Lamothe-Despujols = 88.1 (2010 = 84.5) – £15.50/bt
33.    Château de Veyres = 87.7 (2010 = 85.0) – £11.20/bt
34=. Château Partarrieu = 87.5 (2010 = 78.8) – £9.55/bt
34=.  Château La Clotte-Cazalis = 87.5 (2010 = 84.5) – £13.35/bt
36.    Château Latrezotte = 87.0 (2010 N/A)

* Either price or low availability means that we will not be offering these wines in 2011 – they are good though!
The ‘shrivel’ of critics whose scores go towards the averages above are: Jane Anson, Tim Atkin, Michel Bettane, Jeannie Cho Lee, Julia Harding, Matthew Jukes, Panos Kakaviatos, Chris Kissack, Izak Litwar, Nea
l Martin, Philippe Maurange, James Molesworth, Jean-Marc Quarin, James Suckling and Roger Voss.

More Super Value 2011 Sauternes

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

These three super value 2011 Sauternes released this morning sum up the 2011 En Primeur campaign very well – Chateau Haut-Bergeron, Chateau Partarrieu and Chateau de Veyres.

At 21-24 Gold Stars and between £9.55 and £14.55 per bottle they represent quality drinking at a very affordable price.  All of the Sauternes releases so far have been cheaper than last year making this the least expensive of a fantastic trio of superb vintages – Bravo le Sauternais!

Contrast the red Bordeaux campaign where the wines, as judged by Robert Parker, are below the quality of the 2008s and are being released at prices more consistent with the great 2010 and 2009 vintages.  It’s no wonder sales are slow.

Many thanks for the very positive feedback on my 2011 Sauternes Report – it’s even being translated into Chinese as I speak!  For a look at all of the wines that have released so far here’s the link:

2011 Sauternes En Primeur

Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

Bill Blatch 2011 Sauternes Report

Monday, April 30th, 2012

I hope you enjoy my full 2011 Sauternes Report published today.  Here is a direct link:

2011 Sauternes Report

I apologise that it has taken longer this year but I have now officially retired (that sounds very odd) from my negociant life at Vintex and saying goodbye has taken up a lot of my time.  The good news is that there should be more time for Sauternes and Bordeaux Gold from now on!

Once you have read the report don’t forget to take a look at the wines here:

2011 Sauternes En Primeur

Just by clicking on a wine label you can get tasting notes from myself, Neal Martin (writing for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate), Jeannie Cho Lee (writing for Decanter), Julia Harding (writing for Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages), James Suckling, Michel Bettane, James Molesworth (writing for The Wine Spectator), Chris Kissack and many more.  For alternative views on the vintage I’d point you towards Neal Martin, Jancis Robinson (both require subscription) or the remarkable Wine Doctor,  Chris Kissack, for an in depth free assessment.

Everyone has something in common though – they all love the incredibly fresh 2011 Sauternes.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

Hail hits 2011 Sauternes Vintage