World-famous Château d’Yquem Now Available By the Glass

The 2019 Vintage of Château d’Yquem 

Photo provided


The 2019 Vintage of Château d’Yquem 

Photo provided

If you try to imagine heaven in a glass I think possibly it would be this. There is simply nothing on earth as gorgeously, gleamingly delicious. The question then is why don’t we drink more Château d’Yquem? When you swirl the golden liquid and smell the bright fragrance of dried apricot, tangerine, peach skins and linden-flowers you may wonder why don’t I drink this all the time? Or why have I never had this before? Why has this been kept a secret from me?

Yquem by the glass – globally

In answer to this Château d’Yquem has launched a new initiative to encourage both existing fans and curious drinkers who might be intimidated or put off by the idea of rare, old vintages, to enjoy 2019 Château d’Yquem on release. Since this is a wine that can live for eternity, and only gets better and better the longer it sits in the cellar, it might seem to never be the right time to open the bottle. These magnificent wines might languish unopened for decades, perhaps eventually even outliving their owners, patiently waiting for an occasion so special that it may never happen at all.

For this reason, Château d’Yquem is taking that difficult decision out of our hands. They have partnered with a few selected restaurants and venues around the world to open the latest vintage and serve it by the glass. This way, more people will have a first experience of Château d’Yquem and in doing so join the blessed few. Pierre Lurton, president and CEO of the Château, devised this plan to “to invite wine lovers and epicureans around the world to seize this moment to drink and share the new vintage at its most exuberant, at its brightest and at its most seductive.”

Obtainable luxury

One reason not to drink Château d’Yquem every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner is that it is expensive. All wines that derive their glory from grapes infected with the Botrytis cinerea fungus, known also as “noble rot,” are rare and precious. Château d’Yquem in Sauternes is perhaps the best known and most sought-after of them all. The Château, however, is collaborating with the restaurants and venues who are participating in this initiative, to make sure that the price of a glass will not be unobtainable.

Beyond classic pairings

Also, as foie gras, which is of course the classic pairing for Château d’Yquem, comes under increasing threat, with a total ban being proposed in some countries, Château d’Yquem wants to encourage wine lovers to be adventurous and to realise that this exceptional wine can be enjoyed with many other foods. At a lunch in London hosted by Château d’Yquem at the Michelin-starred Portland restaurant, we were served a selection of vintages of Château d’Yquem and one vintage of the dry white wine Ygrec with different food pairings. Among the most impressive matches was a dish of roasted carrots with puffed rice and mutton sauce. Other exceptional matches were smoked mussels, and an oozing, ripe Gorgonzola served with a pressed apple terrine.

Mist, rivers and leopard spots

Then again, perhaps the best way to enjoy Château d’Yquem might be just on its own, as a wine of contemplation and dreams: in the garden under a large shady tree, or on the terrace looking at the sky, imagining the gentle mists that descend on the vines along the gently sloping hillside surrounding the old castle’s ragged crenellations. The mist is caused by the influx of the cooler waters of the tributary Ciron into the river Garonne and, as it dissipates in the mid-morning, warmed by a gentle autumn sun, it creates the perfect setting for the fungus which first appears as pinpoint dots, that in Sauternes they call “leopard spots,” on the yellowing skins. The magical fungus gets inside the grape, which then shrivels and turns purplish like a bruise, concentrating its sugars and transforming them into this enchanted substance, which has somehow ended up in your glass. 

Château d’Yquem is a wine that takes you on a journey. All you have to do is be willing to come along.




(more Lighthouse partnerships to be announced)






grape-Botrytis cinerea-noble-rot

Close-up of a grape affected by Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot.

© Shutterstock