Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

Fine Wine Review site

Château d’Yquem


Address: 33210 Sauternes

Tel: +33 (0)5 57 98 07 07

Fax: +33 (0)5 57 98 07 08

E-mail: info@yquem


The Sauternes estate par excellence, Château d’Yquem produces miraculous, thought-provoking sweet wines that are extremely profound and very long lived. The estate dates back to the fifteenth century for generations was the property of the Lur-Saluces family. In 1999 they sold to the LVMH group and the estate is now managed by Pierre Lurton. The wine is classified in a category of its own – premier cru supérieur. A white wine Ygrec has also been produced here since 1959.

The approach here is painstaking. Pickers comb the various plots six times on average each harvest, individually selecting the botrytis affected grapes. The juice from these berries is received into the cellar and immediately goes into new barrels for fermentation and is then aged for up to thirty months. The results are quite simply outstanding.

Vineyard: 126 hectares [100 in production] planted with 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Average of six tries [pickings] each vintage. Yields are a tiny 9 hl/ha on average.

Winemaking: The wine is aged in barrel for up to thirty months in 100% new oak.

Tasting notes:

  • 2013 Golden; very lush and rich on the nose; wax and botrytis tones in spades; full and attractive; orange peel, spice and passion fruit notes – fabulous; creamy palate with honey tones; great poise and composure; real depth and many layers here; very good length indeed. Fresh finish. Comparison here with 2007 and 1997. Tremendous effort. [70% Semillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc]Tasted 2/4/14 at Cheval Blanc. Drink 2020-2040. 96-98+
  • 2011 Deep gold; mealy, creamy botrytis; big and thick; crème brulee; brioche, butterscotch; weighty; lovely mouthfeel; round; terrific; layers and great length; overall wonderful balance and length. This is virtually perfect. Tasted April ’12. 96-98+
  • 2008 Pale gold; honeysuckle and melon, very mid weight palate; delicacy, excellent length [v small sample]. Looks to be very good. Tasted Nov ’12 MW Institute. 92+
  • 2007 Golden straw; butterscotch, honey and cream; citrus highlights with lemon zest; elegant palate with real substance; honey, cream and citrus notes and a certain fatness. Excellent! Tasted Nov ’11 at MW Institute. 96+/100
  • 1989 Deep gold; oily and viscous – tears reluctantly fall down inside the glass; massive, bold and unctuous nose; monumental – marmalade, crème brulee and ripe oranges; currently still very primary fruit driven with little complexity of age. Will last forever. Terrific length on palate. 97+/100 Aug ‘05

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