“On a ramassé au début des choses intéressantes, puis il y a eu ensuite beaucoup de pluie qui a fait déraper le millésime. Cela manquait d’ampleur, il n’y a jamais eu la bonne concentration”, a expliqué Pierre Lurton. Avant d’ajouter : “Une marque comme Yquem doit savoir ne pas faire un millésime. [...] Pour l’image d’un des plus grands vins blancs du monde, pour maintenir Yquem dans l’histoire, il était raisonnable de ne pas en faire” en 2012 – comme en 1952, en 1972 et en 1992, d’ailleurs… y aurait-il une malédiction des 20 ans?
This is a very unusual move. We have gotten accustomed to Bordeaux estates being able to produce quality vintages irrespective of the weather, but Sauternes estates are much more susceptible to poor weather than other part of Bordeaux.
While acknowledging that the 2012 vintage was a challenge other estates in the Barsac/Sauternes region disagree with the assessment. In a press release sent out by Lettres de Chateaux they state:
2012 will be remembered as a complicated year which often placed considerable strain on the nerves of growers in the region. Spring started warm and dry, and then ended with rain... Two months of summer without a drop of rain, botrytis that had trouble getting started, and very localized storms... Thesomewhat sluggish noble rot meant that the harvests required extreme patience. In many cases they did not start until October, and were interrupted by spells of rain. Luckily, the last days of the harvests saw an unexpected return of the sun.
The press release goes on to state:
By the end of the autumn, the wine’s characteristics are starting to emerge... The sweet wines of 2012 have a striking aromatic purity. The wines do not rely on power, impressing instead with finesse, delicacy, smoothness and a freshness that augurs well for the wines’ long-term balance, with a style that ismore ethereal than in recent years. And which should delight wine lovers…