Chateau d’Yquem may release a second wine - and start selling en primeur - as its new management regime takes hold.

Pierre Lurton of LVMH took over from Alexandre Lur Saluces at the world-renowned Sauternes chateau last week, as the head of the ancient Lur Saluces dynasty was forced out under a lowering of the compulsory retirement age.

Now Lurton is considering selling a second sweet wine ‘to take some of the commercial pressure off the flagship brand,’ the Financial Times reports.

This would be highly unusual. Some Sauternes properties release a dry wine and a few release a second sweet wine, but none of the calibre of Yquem would think of making a second sweet wine.

The FT also reports the chateau will start selling en primeur as a matter of course.

Selling the previous year’s vintage would not be a first for the venerable property – the 2000 vintage was released in 2001. But normally Yquem is the only Sauternes not to release en primeur, usually waiting three years before putting its wine on the market.

This year the 2003 will be released – mainly because as the blending took place the quality of the wine was obvious, a spokesperson said. She could not confirm that this would happen as a matter of course.

Around 80% of sales take place during en primeur week, in the spring following the harvest.

Written by Adam Lechmere, and agencies