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California restaurant secures 138 vintages of Château d’Yquem

An award-winning restaurant in Santa Barbara has acquired a 138-vintage vertical of Château d'Yquem, dating back to 1811.

The new collection at San Ysidro Ranch’s Stonehouse restaurant includes every vintage from 1887 to 2008, along with select vintages dating back to 1811.

There are now fewer than 10 bottles of Château d’Yquem from the fabled ‘comet vintage’ of 1811 in circulation, according to the restaurant.

It became the most expensive white wine in the world after collector Christian Vanneque paid £75,000 for a bottle of 1811 Château d’Yquem back in 2011.

San Ysidro Ranch described its allocation as ‘the most extensive restaurant offering of Château d’Yquem in North America’.

Château d’Yquem is widely regarded as the world’s greatest sweet wine. It is made from the finest botrytised Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes in Sauternes.

San Ysidro Ranch’s Stonehouse restaurant will offer guests a custom Château d’Yquem tasting experience, starting at $550 per head.

Ty Warner, the billionaire owner of San Ysidro Ranch, said: ‘We’re proud to offer our guests access to the most coveted and exclusive bottles of wine from Bordeaux and around the globe.

‘Our firm commitment to building upon our world-class wine programme that showcases boutique wineries, limited-production labels and one-of-a-kind bottles sets us apart from any other restaurant in the region.’

Warner made his fortune after founding Ty Inc., which produces Beanie Babies and other stuffed toys. He has a net worth of $6bn, according to Forbes.

The entrepreneur, who paid a $53m fine in 2013 after pleading guilty to tax evasion, has invested in several hotels, restaurants and golf courses over the years.

He also owns Four Seasons The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, Four Seasons Hotel in New York and Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Mexico, among others.

In 2018, mudslides destroyed the wine cellar at San Ysidro Ranch’s Stonehouse restaurant in Montecito, Santa Barbara. More than 12,000 bottles of wine, valued at $3m, were lost.

The team set about reconstructing the cellar, and it now features approximately 14,000 fine wines from around the world.

In July 2021, the restaurant procured a 72-vintage vertical of Petrus. That also represented the largest restaurant collection of the blue-chip Bordeaux in the United States.

It includes every vintage produced by Château Petrus dating from 1945 to 2017, including the famed 1947, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1982, 1990 and 2000 vintages.

San Ysidro Ranch is also offering a custom Château Petrus tasting experience, which begins at $2,500 per guest and includes ‘one-on-one consultations’ with ‘a team of esteemed experts’.

The ranch also recently opened a Prohibition-era inspired bar called The Speakeasy at Plow & Angel, which offers rare spirits.

They include the only bottle of Glenturret 50 Year Old in North America, along with the only restaurant offering of the Balvenie Chapter 4 Collection on the continent.


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