ACROSS THE RIVIERA
WITH 3 YQUEM VINTAGES
In the present day, Yquem is as prominent as ever. 400 years of passion and excellence have lead to this moment, where tradition meets sophistication, and flavour meets perfection.
The mysterious rider we discovered during the first episode happening at the Château d’Yquem is long gone, but instead I am in his place, waiting for my chance to discover the magic of the ‘Nectar of the Gods’.
And at last it has come. I am presented with 3 bottles; Yquem 2013, 2014 and 2015. How and where I indulge in them is of my choosing…
Where have I chosen? The French Riviera
How will I enjoy them? Let’s find out;
Yquem 2015 – Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat
Cap-Ferrat might just be one of the most stunning communes along the French coast, and I highly recommend enjoying this beauty from the water. And so, to ease your minds I’ll show you with pleasure, exactly what that looks like!
Not just any boat will do however. The one I am aboard was built in 1935. Far older than the bottle in my hand. This is the perfect yacht for the Yquem 2015 which I enjoy with my friend Cindy whilst sitting over the side of the deck, allowing the fresh Mediterranean water to spray my toes.
The setting is perfect for enjoying such a bottle, its golden elixir sparkling in the sunlight. An all-round vintage, the freshness of the beverage mimics that of the azure sea and I cannot think of a better way to enjoy this moment.
The breeze in the sails and waves around my feet create a picturesque setting to enjoy a glass of 2015, whilst indulging in the views of the coastline (providing you look up from your glistening Yquem occasionally!).
SHINING IN THE SUNLIGHT
Yquem 2014 – Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat
A visit to St Jean is never complete without a well spent night at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat.
A Four Seasons hotel, this paradise has an enviable perch overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Private infinity pools, panoramic views, and dining terrace provide the ultimate Riviera lifestyle. I find it impossible to resist. But who wouldn’t?
We head over to the Club Dauphin for a unique lunch, with a table alongside the Olympic-sized swimming pool. I ask the waiter to bring a bottle of Yquem 2014. My choice of drink for the exquisite seafood course to come.
This vintage has been made from an early harvest over a substantial period of time, 9 weeks in total (capturing all the diversity of a growing season). The grapes used to create this vintage have provided the perfect balance between acidity and richness, providing fresh yet complex flavours one would crave in a setting as gorgeous as the Grand-Hôtel.
It’s just as easy to appreciate Yquem in the pool as it is whilst enjoying your appetizers, and at the Four Seasons we probably aren’t the only ones doing so!
Yquem 2013 – Yacht Club de Monaco
Our table - overlooking Port Hercule – is elegantly decorated with a vibrant bouquet and complementing red Baccarat crystal glassware, courtesy of Boutsen Design in Monaco. We are served a carefully selected cheese board along with delicately cooked meat. Tell me this is not the perfect way to spend an evening in Monte-Carlo!
candied fruit flavours
I choose the 2013 for this occasion because as with our location, this vintage is also quite special. The growing season that year was remarkably good with an extreme contrast between spring (very cold and wet weather) and summer (very hot and dry). Favourable weather conditions which continued throughout the harvest enabled a great spread of the noble rot, caused by the “Botrytis cinerea”. And 2013 benefits from the typical Yquem botrytis concentrated characteristics, resulting in richness and candied fruit flavours unlike anything I have experienced before. Such a delight!
As the sky turns pink I invite my partner Cindy for a dance as the music begins to play. The Port comes alive as the iridescent glow from the yachts lights up La Condamine neighbourhood. What a perfect evening it has turned out to be…
After spending time in the French Riviera alongside a charming girl, aboard a magnificent sailing boat, tasting different Yquem vintages, I can tell you that these moments will live on forever. I hope I have provided a glimpse into how you can enjoy your time in the Mediterranean.
It all starts with a vintage from Yquem…
Visit the website www.yquem.fr to discover more about these exceptional vintages. I also strongly recommend you to visit the estate, Château d'Yquem if you have the chance to (contact Yquem for a visit).
Special thanks to our partners:
Château d'Yquem and all the teams for their exceptional welcome.
Four Seasons Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat : www.fourseasons.com/fr/capferrat/
The Yacht Club de Monaco
L'Atelier du Croco with Porosus Classic Sailing boat
The Equestrian Center of Langon
Loona Monte-Carlo Womens Fashion & Stylism : www.instagram.com/loonamc/
Boutsen Design High End Art de la Table : www.boutsendesign.com/
Artistic Director, ModelTom Claeren
High End Retoucher (on a selection)Emilie Desmeules
Text EditorAzzam Jamil
HairstyleEric Stipa Salon Monaco - Claudio Piroso
Make UpMarie Baillon