The 2016 vintage of Château d’Yquem has been released but despite being hailed as “magical”, “moreish” and “sexy”, is it a good buy?
Widely regarded as the finest of all Sauternes, the 2016 was released at €250 a bottle from La Place de Bordeaux, equal to the 2015 and 2014 releases.
This gives it a market price of about £3,168 a case – which is 6% up on the price of the 2015 in sterling.
The wine comes stacked with high points and praise from all the top critics. Neal Martin, then writing for The Wine Advocate, called it “excellent” though perhaps lacking some of the “labyrinthine complexity” of top-tier Yquem. Nonetheless, he awarded it 95-97.
Antonio Galloni meanwhile awarded it 94-97 while calling it “magical”, Jancis Robinson MW thought it the “cream of the 2016 Sauternes crop” with an 18.5 rating, while James Suckling, who gave it a 98-99 spread, said it was “sexy and moreish”.
Despite the acclaim, Yquem can have a poor track record in the secondary market, its high release prices not always sticking particularly well as Liv-ex demonstrates.
The latest release for example is the most expensive on the market since 2006 with the exception of the 2009 which is over £3,500 a case.
Among back vintages that may be of interest are the 2015 which has 100-points in The Wine Advocate and is currently below £3,000 while the 98-point 2007 is just over £2,000 a dozen.
Other recent releases from La Place include the 2015 Solaia at £1,890 a case (justifying the claim it’s the “greatest Solaia ever made”?) and the 2016 wine from Chile’s Seña at £1,070.
The 2009 vintage of Forts de Latour was released ex-château at £2,400 a case – a 119% increase on the initial en primeur price and 20.6% on the current market price of £1,990.