Chateau d'Yquem has pulled out of making a Sauternes in 2012 after the vintage failed a post-harvest taste test.
‘Prepared to not make a vintage': Yquem
The LVMH-owned Sauternes first growth confirmed to Decanter.com that ‘there will be no Chateau d’Yquem in the 2012 vintage’.
It is the first time in 20 years that the chateau has made such a call.
‘This is a very difficult decision, but the tasting of the harvest confirmed that the level of quality is not satisfactory to become Yquem,’ said chateau spokeswoman Valérie Lailheugue.
A late start to this year’s harvest meant that all Sauternes producers were already under pressure, but poor weather in October proved too much for many grapevines to handle.
‘A brand like Yquem has to be prepared to not make a vintage,’ Yquem CEO Pierre Lurton was quoted as telling the Agence France Presse newswire.
Earlier this year, Lurton announced that Yquem would hold back from releasing its 2011 vintage en primeur.
Other Sauternes chateaux are also having a difficult time. Chateau de Fargues is facing its lowest yields for 12 years and had to leave almost three quarters of its entire grape haul to rot on the ground, according to estate manager François Amirault.
‘We felt crushed by the incredible sense of waste,’ he said in a blog posting on the chateau’s website.
‘It already looks as though at least a third of the harvest will not be sold under the Lur Saluces name,’ he said, although he added that it will be easier to evaluate quality at the end of fermentation.
Written by Chris Mercer