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Chateau d'Yquem

Among the most storied of chateaux in Bordeaux, the family-owned Château d’Yquem is classified as a "Premier Cru Supérieur," or first-growth. Located in Bordeaux’s southern region of Sauternais, tucked into Graves, the winery makes the only Sauternes (a sweet wine made from Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle and Sémillon grapes).

Due to that fact, it is a highly sought-after collectible wine. The wine's extreme aging also makes it a hot commodity at auction. Many claim that this particular Sauternes wine will hold up for nearly a century.

Yet another boon for the wine at auction is that it comes from a region where noble rot wreaks havoc on some wine harvests. Should Château d’Yquem release a vintage unaffected by this disastrous fungi, as it often does, the price at auction will automatically go up due to there being few bottles available.

Since 1959, Château d’Yquem has occasionally released a lesser-known white wine called Ygrec, or “Y” for short. It’s a drier counterpart to its flagship wine and features Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes.

Quick Facts

  • Château d’Yquem employs one of the few female winemakers at a first-growth winery in Bordeaux
  • Among the celebrities over the last century to visit Château d’Yquem is Thomas Jefferson, himself a vintner at his Monticello, Virginia, estate
  • At auction in 2011, and commanding a price of $117,000, the 1811 Château d’Yquem was named the world’s most valuable white wine and the most expensive white wine ever sold

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