Having previously been restricted to professionals and expensive wine tour operators, the famous Chateau d’Yquem is to open to the public from March to September.
A visit to 400-year-old Château d’Yquem entails discovering an estate that places a premium on art and craftsmanship to produce a rare wine. For 2016 there is a guided tour followed by a tasting
(one vintage of Château d’Yquem and one vintage of Y) in a group of no more than 12 people. The cost is €72 per person and the guided tour lasts 90 minutes, 3 times every day. Booking essential – see http://yquem.fr
Chateau d’Yquem is the ultimate expression of Sauternes – a Premier Cru Supérieur that enjoys a position which makes the grapes susceptible to attack by “noble rot” (Botrytis cinerea) – producing lush yet delicate dessert wines from the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. In addition the wine has considerable ageing potential (100+ years for some vintages), and this contributes to it being recognised as the most expensive wine in the world – in July 2011, an 1811 bottle of Château d’Yquem sold for £75,000!!
Nationwide wine merchant Majestic Wine has a 1990 vintage available at a mere £405 a bottle : “an enticing nose of toasted nuts, vanilla cream and soft orange marmalade “
Château d’Yquem lies in the Graves area about 30 miles south of Bordeaux – see http://yquem.fr