Yquem in daylight
A magnificent picture of Yquem while the sun is going down! Taken during unforgettable Vinexpo dinner on Monday the 13th May 2019. Copyright Izak Litwar
Château d'Yquem had been in the hands of Lur Saluces family from 1785 to 1997. After several years of legal controversies, caused by disagreements within Lur Saluces family, luxury fashion giant LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennesy and Château Cheval Blanc) gained a majority of shares in d'Yquem in 1997, when Count Alexandre de Lur Saluces sold his shares to LVMH. He did, however, continue as manager of d'Yquem, according to an agreement with the new owner. This changed radically in May 2004, when he retired and was replaced with Pierre Lurton, already a manager at Cheval Blanc. The latest vintages of d'Yquem conform very convincingly, that Pierre Lurton has greatly succeeded to maintain d'Yquem's fantastic quality.
This property is beautifully placed at a hilltop in Sauternes commune, with its 103 ha big vineyard (clay and gravel on the surface and limestones in the subsoil), planted with 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The average age of vines is 27 years and the yield does not exceed 10 hl/ha. The wine matures for 3.5 years in new barrels. Neither chaptalisation nor other techniques, which increase sugar content in grape must are allowed. D'Yquem is one of the very few properties in the district, to use both semi-botrytised and fully botrytised grapes for the wine, in order to have enough acidity to balance the sweetness.
D'Yquem is made without any compromises and consideration whatsoever about production costs - pickers are on constant alert for 1.5-2 months and do many picking rounds in the vineyard. Often, the amount of these rounds is double or triple, compared to how many rounds other classified properties perform in the district. Here, we have the king of Sauternes & Barsac, world's most expensive and most demanded dessert wine, which has an enormous keeping potential (50 years+). At its best, this wine possesses purely exceptional botrytis, enormous concentration and such a nuance-richness, which makes you speechless.
Sandrine Garbay is in excellent mood presenting 2014 vintage and other wines in March 2015
In April 2005, a historic and extravagant tasting of 65 vintages of Château d'Yquem covering three centuries (!) took place at restaurant "Ensemble" (2 Michelin stars) in Copenhagen with 15 experienced tasters participating. I've to say, that this tasting was among the two best tastings I've ever participated in. Pure joy and sheer entertainment!
On Saturday, the 16th April 2005, 34 vintages were tasted, divided between lunch and dinner and on Sunday the 17th April 2005, 31 vintages were tasted, divided between lunch and dinner as well.
The tasting was semi-blind – we knew in advance which wines were served in each flight, but didn't know the order of vintages in glasses. Except oldest vintages, wines were poured into decanters and served immediately after. With the exception of two Belgian bottlings (1918 and 1921), and one Bordeaux bottling (1847), all remaining wines were château bottled.
Order of flights:
Lunch on Saturday: 2000-1999-1995, 1968-1978-1938, 1954-1973-1965, 1966-1906-1936, 1980-1970-1960, 1990 (magnum)-1986
Dinner on Saturday: 1991-1993-1994, 1971-1961-1981, 1962-1926, 1953-1950-1918, 1944-1943-1941, 1988-1989-1990, 1891
Lunch on Sunday: 1998 (two half bottles)-1996-1997, 1985-1987-1984, 1982-1979 (magnum), 1969-1939-1919, 1977-1963-1957, 1914-1924-1934, 1921
Dinner on Sunday: 1983-1976-1975, 1967-1959-1955, 1929-1928-1937, 1945-1947-1949, 1847
All wines from this historic and extravagant tasting are described and rated - read below:
Chateau d'Yquem 2018 - not offered for tasting during primeurs and Vinexpo 2019.
Chateau d'Yquem 2017 (barrel sample) 99-100p
Tasted in April 2018. Incredibly intense nose of pear, peach and melon, very potent on the palate, strong and concentrated, stunning acidity and richness. Enormous wine and on the level with 2015 vintage.
Chateau d'Yquem 2016 (barrel sample) 98p
Tasted in April 2017. Incredibly intense nose of pear, peach and melon, sheer power on the palate, great acidity but not as remarkable as in 2014 and 2015 vintages. Fabulous intensity, great depth and length.
Chateau d'Yquem 2015 99-100p
Tasted four times - last time in December 2017. Consistent notes. Unctuous, fabulous acidity and richness, intensity and concentration, fantastic complexity, depth and length. Heavenly stuff!
Chateau d'Yquem 2014 (barrel sample) 97p
Tasted in March 2015. Harvested between 5th September and 30th October, 80% of it went into Grand Vin. Freshness, strikingly high acidity (4.9), very sophisticated and refined, incredibly intense, fantastic sweetness, very rich and long on the aftertaste. Beautiful wine. The king's still rules!
Chateau d'Yquem 2013 (barrel sample) 95+p
Tasted three times - last time in March 2015. Consistent notes. Very sophisticated and intense nose of honey melon, orange peel, finesse and elegance, great match between acidity and sweetness, remarkable complexity and stupendous finish. It's classy d'Yquem which needs time to develop, but at the moment I don't think this wine matches the quality of 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
No Grand Vin in 2012 vintage due to insufficient sugar levels in harvested grapes.
Chateau d'Yquem 2011 (barrel sample) 98-99p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2014. Consistent notes. This wine showed multiple botrytised aromas, a lot of sweetness and corresponding acidity, sophisticated touch, fabulous intensity, stunning balance, length and finish. Exceptional stuff.
Château d'Yquem 2010 99p
Tasted three times - last time in December 2017. It had freshness, multiple aromas, depth, sophisticated touch, astonishing intensity, depth and balance. Yquem's winemaker, Sandrine Garbay, likes this vintage for delicacy, freshness and astonishing balance. Fantastic stuff. In December 2017 this wine was lighter than usual and seemed very closed, 98p.
Château d'Yquem 2009 100p
Tasted three times - last time in March 2015. Consistent notes. This wine was unctuous on nose and palate with incredible sweetness and acidity, eminent structure and breathtaking length. Layers and layers of deeply concentrated pear and apricot flavors. Incredible stuff!
Château d'Yquem 2008 97p
Frost in April 2008 didn't do any damage at d'Yquem - the explanation is that d'Yquem is situated at the hill-top and has a lake close to vineyard, which apparantly prevented frost to enter. Tasted twice - last time in April 2012. Consistent notes. It was deep and intense on the nose with pear and apricots, velvety, very sophisticated, with excellent structure and greath length. Finished with acacia honey. Awesome stuff.
Château d'Yquem 2007 99p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2012. Consistent notes. It was a very refined, sophisticated and beautifully structured wine with great intensity of aromas, great acidity and minerality, stunnigly rich, great structure and striking length. Heaven's doors are open.
Château d'Yquem 2006 96-97p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2017. Consistent notes. Offered incredibly refined botrytis and was superbly refined and sophisticated on the palate. Extremely intense acacia honey and pure flavours. Best wine of the vintage in the district.
Château d'Yquem 2005 98-99p
Tasted three times. - last time in December 2017. Consistent notes. 80% of the harvest into Grand Vin. Residual sugar 8%, alcohol 13.3%, acidity 3.6 g/l H2SO4. Extraordinary intensity of botrytised flavours – acacia flower, acacia honey, honey melon, pear, peach and apricot. Very sublime, subtle, sophisticated, extremely long, sticks to the tongue. Acidity supports fruit in beautiful way. The depth, structure and purity in this wine is simply awesome. One to keep for 50-60 years.
Château d'Yquem 2004 96-97p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. 50% of the harvest into Grand Vin. Residual sugar 7.3%, alcohol 13.53%, acidity 4.8 g/l H2SO4.
Extraordinary nose with reduced flavours (nuts) and pear. Fresh, very elegant and refined. Incredible finesse and silky texture. Long, caressing and honeyed finish. Awesome stuff for several decades to enjoy.
Château d'Yquem 2003 100p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2014. Consistent notes. 80% of the harvest into Grand Vin. Residual sugar 8.3%, alcohol 13.5%, acidity 4.2 g/l H2SO4.. Harvest ended on record breaking erliest date of 26th September and lasted only 9 days! I'm totally in heaven. Extraordinary concentrated aromas of dried fruits, candied orange peel, mango, guava, candied apricot. Phenomenal purity and intensity. Wow! Incredibly long ongoing aftertaste which lasts for more than one minute. Paradise in heaven.
Château d'Yquem 2002 95p
Tasted three times - last time in June 2012. Consistent notes. Residual sugar 7.3%, alcohol 14.0%, acidity 4.5 g/l H2SO4.
A lighter version of 2004. Fresh, sweet apples and pears. Immensely seductive. Acidity is supporting fruit in tremendous way. Again you find here outstanding balance, purity and finesse. Extraordinary wine. Slightly less intense when tasted in June 2012 - the bottle was bought on open market.
Château d'Yquem 2001 100p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2009. Consistent notes. Residual sugar 9.3%, alcohol 13.6%, acidity 4.6 g/l H2SO4.
The nose here is simply out of this world with extreme depth and explosion of flavours like nuts, acacia flower, honey melon, peach and apricot. Stunning vivacity and richness on the palate and what an interplay between fantastic fruit and fantastic acidity. This wine grabs your attention immediately, seduces you and won't let you go. What an angelic treat it is! I guess it will live 50-70 years.100p. This vintage is Sandrine Garbay's favourite among the 14 vintages she's made at d'Yquem.
Château d'Yquem 2000 93p
Tasted in April 2005. Only 20% of the harvest (September pickings) became Grand Vin, because of downpour from mid-October, which literally washed the remaining grapes away. It was also the last vintage with full involvement of Count Alexandre de Lur Saluces. Golden. Well-defined botrytis, mango, apple and acacia honey. This was a delicate version of d'Yquem with great finesse and elegance, concentrated with many nuances, sweetness and long aftertaste. Quite approachable right now, but can easily be enjoyed in the next 12-20 years.
Château d'Yquem 1999 89p
Tasted in April 2005. Light golden. Tasted quite light and reserved, and showed some bitter orange peel and evident acidity. This wine hasn't found itself yet, so give it time.
Château d'Yquem 1998 96p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2005. Not consistent notes. Pale yellow. Nose was very elegant with well-shaped noble rot, and had a lot of sweetness on the palate with mango, apricot and acacia honey. This was a wine with pure style, much finesse and long aftertaste, but at same time also "light-footed". Give it 15-25 years.
Château d'Yquem 1997 98-99p
Tasted five times - last time in April 2012. Consistent notes. This vintage is one of the most classic ones in the district since 1988. Straw yellow. This wine reminded a lot of 1996 (served in same flight), but showed though extra turbo on the concentration and botrytis. Truly speaking – it is nectar of the Gods. Keep it for 20-40 years. In April 2012, this beauty was in full blossom with creme brulée and pineapple confit, stunning cooperation of botrytized flavours and corresponding acidity, extremely rich and lot of sweetness.
Château d'Yquem 1996 97p
Tasted four times - last time in June 2014. Consistent notes. Pale yellow. Possessed extremely sophisticated and intense nose with aroma of dried apricot and honey melon, and was incredibly well composed on the palate with oceans of nuances and lots of sweet peaches and apricots. Due to high sugar content, it simply stuck to the tongue. It's a really classic effort from château – 20-30 years horizontally. This wine tasted in June 2014 wasn't as impressive as bottles tasted on three previous occasions - older, less concentrated and shorter on the finish (94p).
Château d'Yquem 1995 96p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2005. Consistent notes. Some of the participants in the tasting found this wine oxidized or corked, which I strongly disagreed with. Well, in the beginning it had a chemical/medicinal aroma (sulphur), but this unpleasant odour disappeared very quickly. Light golden. Classic botrytis, pure and intense, acacia honey with pear and pineapple, "oily" texture, great depth and nuance richness. It showed gorgeous length and long aftertaste. This is a truly splendid wine, which can spend 15-25 years more in the cellar.
Château d'Yquem 1994 90p
Tasted twice - last time in April 2005. Consistent notes. Golden. Deep nose of somewhat sweet fruit and honey, well packed with apricots and peaches on the palate, with nice support of fresh acidity and delicate aftertaste. It seemed really presentable right now and hopefully will continue like so in additional 12-15 years.
Château d'Yquem 1993 89p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden. This wine reminded a lot of 1994 and was as elegant and tasty. It took against you with open arms. A really well made wine, which should keep all the good things together for the next 10 years.
Château d'Yquem 1991 89p
Tasted in April 2005. Light golden. Deep and intense nose of acacia flowers with scent of lemon. Quite light on the palate with an adequate portion of sweetness, acacia honey, pear, nice structure and good aftertaste. Is ready to drink now, but can easily be enjoyed for another ten years.
Château d'Yquem 1990 97p
Tasted twice - last time in December 2017. Light golden. Refined and deep in the nose with magnificently defined botrytis, sophisticated and refined on the palate with delicious sweetness, heather/rasp honey and lasting aftertaste. This wine is incredibly well put together and has incredibly promising future.
Château d'Yquem 1989 95p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2010. Consistent notes. Straw yellow. It had very alcoholic nose with well-developed noble rot, fat texture, rasp honey, tropical fruits (mango, pineapple and guava), but seemed a bit clumsy on the palate with marked presence of alcohol. This wine looked like a giant on slippery feet, so it hopefully can develop stronger fundament in the near future. Hasn't changed much since April 2005.
Château d'Yquem 1988 99p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2012. Consistent notes. Yellow. A wine with extremely well trimmed, deep and intense botrytis in the nose, and strong aroma of melon, acacia honey and lemon peel. Really incredible intensity on the palate with cascades of tropical fruit like mango and honey melon, and in addition to all the goods, it showed exemplary structure and fantastic balance. This wine did really stuck to the tongue and had a meter long aftertaste. A masterpiece! It has a potential to live 30, 40 or even more years. In April 2012, 7 years later after tasting it previous time, this wine seemed a bit muted, maybe closed. Underperformed a bit compared to 1997 vintage.
Château d'Yquem 1987 92p
Tasted in April 2005. We didn't expect big things from this wine, knowing well, that this vintage was marked by very poor weather. But we became wiser, because this 1987 turned out quite successful. Pale yellow. Honey melon, pear, acacia honey and scent of apricot on the nose and palate. This was a light version of d'Yquem, refined and elegant, really harmonic and luscious. It will easily keep for additional 10 years.
Château d'Yquem 1986 98p
Tasted in April 2005. Pale golden. We had here an extremely refined and distinguished wine with stunningly intense noble rot, enormous depth, intensity and length, exemplary balance and oceans of nuances. It was wonderfully crafted wine to be kept for at least 20 years.
Château d'Yquem 1985 88p
Tasted in April 2005. Straw yellow. This wine tasted light, but had quite well developed botrytis, was quite luscious, harmonious and with nice aftertaste. On the palate, there was honey with touch of citron. Already nice to drink, but it can be enjoyed for additional 7-10 years.
Château d'Yquem 1984 94p
Tasted in April 2005. It was tasted in same flight with 1987 and 1985. Straw yellow. This wine was more concentrated version of 1987 with more fruit sweetness, more intense noble rot and better structure. It appeared both delicate and mighty, showing splendid quality and long life ahead.
Château d'Yquem 1983 97p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden. There was exotic fruit everywhere like papaya, apricot and peach. Very pure wine with lot of nuances, beautifully balanced and exquisite structured. It had delicious fruit sweetness on the palate, concentration and long aftertaste. This was fascinating wine and one to keep for at least 20 years.
Château d'Yquem 1982 89p
Tasted in April 2005. Light golden. On the nose, it showed intense aroma of acacia flower with well-defined noble rot, apple and apricot. This splendid wine was well packed with apricots and peaches on the palate, harmonious and with delightful aftertaste. To be put down in the cellar for additional 15 years.
Château d'Yquem 1981 90p
Tasted in April 2005. Light golden. It had acacia/heather honey in the nose and candied orange peel/citrus peel on the palate, and was well structured with delicious sweetness, fine length and balance. This wine is one to enjoy now and able to keep all the good things for additional 10 years.
Château d'Yquem 1980 93p
Tasted in April 2005. Almost yellow brown. Fine and pure noble rot, very aromatic, strong and concentrated with sweet almonds and grated citrus peel, refined. Fruit acidity in this wine knitted all things beautifully and gave it fresh breath. This was formidable wine with energy and vitality for another 10-15 years.
Château d'Yquem 1979 91p
Tasted twice - last time in September 2012. Consistent notes. Straw yellow. On the nose, it had much sweetness, and botrytis had strong associations to spongy soil in the forest. On the palate it was fat and concentrated, with hazelnuts and rasp honey. Well proportioned, tasty and with beautiful balance. It was stunningly splendid and captivating wine, to enjoy during the next 10 years. In September 2012 it began to show age with fine candied fruit of orange peel and dried apricots, on the light side, elegant and with medium finish.
Château d'Yquem 1978 90p
Tasted in April 2005. Only 15% of the harvest went into Grand Vin. Light golden. It was largely concentrated and well-made wine with fine and fresh fruit acidity, showing acacia honey and fine sweetness, quite harmonious, tasty and with exquisite structure. This wine can be enjoyed now and during next 15-20 years.
Château d'Yquem 1977 85p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden. Nice aroma of apple, pear and caramel pudding on the nose. Light wine with certain elegance and friendly. It had some fruit sweetness coming from ripe but not botrytised grapes. Fruit acidity tasted a bit mouldy and indicated that this wine was behind its prime.
One of the best flights of the tasting - heavenly wines all three
Château d'Yquem 1976 100p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden. In all aspects it was a fantastic wine with incredibly well-composed and intense noble rot, refined and deep aroma of melon and heather honey, lot of nuances, enormous concentration and depth on the palate, perfect balance and aftertaste, which would not disappear. A monument of a wine! Will it last for 30 years more? Yes!
Château d'Yquem 1975 97p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden. Barely as concentrated and deep as 1976, and it appeared more on the light and refined side. There was strong aroma of citron, honey melon and pear, lot of sweetness and fresh acidity. It turned to be a tremendously fine and classic d'Yquem, which easily can last for at least 20 more years.
Château d'Yquem 1973 92p
Tasted in April 2005. Light brown. There was noticeable hazelnut cream aroma in the nose and complex botrytis. Acidity was very present on the palate with bite, but this wine possessed fine balance anyway. Splendidly built with fine length on the palate, and also showing long aftertaste. Light wine, but really well made. It should be consumed within the next 6-8 years.
Château d'Yquem 1971 94p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden brown. This wine was very intense and deep in the nose. On the palate, it had aroma of walnut cream and crème brulée containing a pinch of rum. Sophisticated with big depth and length, delicious fruit sweetness, tasty and captivating wine, which still can entertain. Additional 10-15 years.
Château d'Yquem 1970 90p
Tasted in April 2005. Amber. This wine showed well in elegant and light form, with aroma of acacia honey, sugary and with quite fresh acidity. It was nicely structured and with fine balance on the palate. Fine and well made wine for drinking now.
Château d'Yquem 1969 91p
Tasted in April 2005. Dark amber. In the nose, there was fine and noble botrytis and toffee and sherry on the palate. Fruit acidity had signs of advanced age, but balance didn't suffer from this. This was a splendid wine without much fuss. It will keep for 4-6 more years.
Château d'Yquem 1968 93p
Tasted in April 2005. Only 10% of the harvest became Grand Vin. Pale brown. It was intense and strong wine with excellent structure with toffee aroma on the nose and palate. Began a bit tart on the palate, but gradually became more harmonious in the glass. In spite of barely good weather conditions, this vintage produced mighty and excellent wine, which should last 10 more years.
Another fantastic d'Yquem flight!
Château d'Yquem 1967 100p
Tasted twice - last time in March 2006. Consistent notes. This vintage ranks as one of the very best vintages in the history of the district. Golden brown with reddish nuances. Already in the nose, you could sense incredible intensity and depth with exceedingly sublime botrytis. It was incredibly sophisticated wine with extremely brilliant structure and wonderful balance, packed with sweet apricots, peaches and honey melon on the palate, and with honey-like texture. Aftertaste lasted for several minutes. It was simply pure perfectionism. This wine has the potential to last for a minimum 25 more years.
Château d'Yquem 1966 96p
Tasted in April 2005. Pale mahogany. It showed very intense nose of brown sugar and candied apricots, and aristocratic noble rot. There was an intense taste of toffee, big concentration, formidable structure and length, and quite "fat" texture. We enjoyed a simply stunning wine, which will provide pleasure in many, many years to come.
Château d'Yquem 1965 94p
Tasted in April 2005. Only microscopic 5% of the harvest was declared worthy d'Yquem, but those grapes, which came through this severe selection, were obviously of impressive quality. Dark amber. In the nose, it had pure botrytis and appeared very intense and deep. Sophisticated and nuanced in every corner. This wine was stunningly fine and a big positive surprise. It should be good enough to keep for another 20 years.
Château d'Yquem 1963 87p
Tasted in April 2005. Brown like cola. Aromas of mocha, burnt coffee beans and caramel. It had some sweetness on the palate but very little of noble rot. This was light and well-balanced wine with a fine aftertaste, still alive and one to keep for 2-3 more years.
Château d'Yquem 1962 93p
Tasted in April 2005. Pale brown. It was a very sophisticated and elegant wine with an evident aroma of walnuts on the nose and fruit sweetness, which also was refined, complex and with fine balance. Dazzling performance. It can last for additional 10-15 years.
Château d'Yquem 1961 86p
Tasted in April 2005. Dark amber. It had aromas of crème brulée and grapefruit in the nose and was marked by acidity on the palate with nice concentration, length and aftertaste. This wine lacked a good portion of sweetness and tasted a bit four-squared. It had its peak several years ago.
Château d'Yquem 1960 94p
Tasted in April 2005. Light amber. It impressed from the first drop with an intense and deep nose of rasp honey and brown sugar. On the palate, it appeared very concentrated with candied fruit, delicious structure and sweet aftertaste. This was distinguished and enchanting wine with style, class and vitality. Should maintain all its goodies for additional 15 years.
Château d'Yquem 1959 96p
Tasted in April 2005. Mahogany. It was similar to 1955, concerning intensity and concentration. However, there were more nuances in this wine, which had noticeable aromas of caramel pudding, toffee and candied orange peel. This was breathtaking and sublime wine, with at least 20 eventful years in its "luggage".
Château d'Yquem 1957 93p
Tasted in April 2005. Orange-brown. It was full-bodied, harmonious and well-proportioned wine with marzipan, sweet almonds on the nose and palate and long aftertaste. Kept its shape very nicely and will continue like that in the next 10 years.
Château d'Yquem 1955 95p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden brown. It had a nose of brown sugar with the scent of walnuts and was strong and full-bodied on the palate with splendid balance. It was extremely tasty and attractive wine, admirable and gracious, to be kept horizontally for 10 more years.
Château d'Yquem 1954 89p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden brown. Very elegant and finesse marked wine with aromas of sherry, brown sugar and caramel, and taste of hazelnuts. Quite voluminous and deep wine, well made, which should be consumed now, for it will not improve.
Château d'Yquem 1953 94p
Tasted in April 2005. Light mahogany. It had an intense nose of vanilla budding with added rum and walnuts and was delicious on the palate with tropic fruits marinated in honey. All ingredients appeared to be in a perfect match. This was eminent wine with beautiful charisma, to be further enjoyed in the next 10-15 years.
Château d'Yquem 1950 93p
Tasted in April 2005. It was almost a true copy of 1953, but a bit lighter. Tasted however equally delicious. It will probably peak before the expected apogee for 1953. This much graceful wine did impress a lot.
Château d'Yquem 1949 93p
Tasted in April 2005. Pale mahogany. Seemed more forward in development than 1945 and didn't have the latter's elegant and refined touch. It had however delightful sweetness and delicate taste with a honeyed character. Will doubtfully live so long compared to 1953.
Château d'Yquem 1947 100p
Tasted in April 2005. Dark amber. It had multidimensional fragrances, was extremely complex and refined, and had noble rot of aristocratic kind. This wine was incredibly sophisticated on the palate with rock-solid fundament, fantastic structure and aftertaste, which lasted for several minutes. Angels sing! It seemed almost immortal.
Château d'Yquem 1945 96p
Tasted in April 2005. Orange-brown. Even if this wine couldn't match 1947 fantastic effort, it had sufficient amount of ingredients to make you extremely satisfied. There was crème brulée, candied apricots, catching elegance and refinement. It will surprise me if this wine can't last for additional 10-15 years.
Château d'Yquem 1944 94p
Tasted in April 2005. Dark brown. It showed a delightful fragrance of toffee and marzipan with the scent of cocoa. Well-marked acidity on the palate, but it was neutralised by lusciously sweet peaches and apricots. This wine currently at its peak showed great depth and length and acted delicate and gracious. Fabulous stuff. It will easily manage to keep on going like that for 10 more years. Off-vintage of d'Yquem? Come on! It was certainly not the case here. Beautiful 1944!
Château d'Yquem 1943 91p
Tasted in April 2005. Golden brown. This was a lighter version of 1944, much more forward and barely that aromatic. Anyway, you met delightful and tasty wine, which will keep on like that for further 4-6 years.
Château d'Yquem 1941 88p
Tasted in April 2005. Colour of pale tea. It had a nose of sherry and rum, with substantial acidity on the palate. This was quite full-bodied and concentrated wine, a good old one, which apparently has 2-4 more years to keep ongoing.
Château d'Yquem 1939 88p
Tasted in April 2005. Yellow-brown. Had nose and taste of walnuts and caramel, a scent of bitter chocolate, and was quite harmonious with nice length on the palate. This was old and experienced wine, which still could "move" without a stick.
Château d'Yquem 1938 97p
Tasted in April 2005. Quite a few properties in Sauternes & Barsac made wine in 1938 and d'Yquem was one of these. Light mahogany. Deep and intense nose with aroma of sherry and rum, fat on the palate, stick to the tongue, very vivid. It had remarkable length and aftertaste on the palate with stunning balance. This wine was in fine shape and one for additional keeping for at least 10 years. Heavenly performance!
Château d'Yquem 1936 89p
Tasted in April 2005. Amber. A quite elegant wine with some lusciousness, packed with candied fruits, fine balance and fresh acidity. There was sufficient with vitality and savour in this delightful wine. This one should be able to entertain for some few more years.
Château d'Yquem 1934 88p
Tasted in April 2005. Orange-brown. Had nose of caraway, burnt rubber and old honey, some orange peel on the palate with nice structure and length. Harmonious wine, which still holds all ingredients together, but the time is running out.
Château d'Yquem 1929 97p
Tasted in April 2005. Recorked in 1990. Light mahogany. Had very intense nose of candied apricots and citrus peel, with fine, well-integrated and captivating noble rot. It was creamy on the palate with delicious sweetness, lots of tropical fruits, exemplary structure, impressive length and persistent and honeyed aftertaste. A magnificent example of d'Yquem, full of energy and vitality, and which should be able to last for at least 20-30 more years.
Château d'Yquem 1928 82p
Tasted in April 2005. Dark amber. Very special smell and taste salt stick with a little tobacco and sea salt. This was quite atypical wine for the property, which clearly indicated, that it peaked many, many years ago.
Château d'Yquem 1926 82p
Tasted in April 2005. It had an old nose and palate marked by champignons. Acidity was very apparent and the aftertaste was quite dry and bitter. This wine had clear signs of advanced age and that could be explained with improper storage during its long life.
Château d'Yquem 1924 87p
Tasted in April 2005. Cola colour. Had nose of sherry with the scent of iodine and taste of salty almonds. This wine seemed to be "walking" on crutches.
Château d'Yquem 1921 94p
Tasted in April 2005. Vintage 1921 is considered as one of the milestones in the history of the district. The wine here didn't quite match the reputation of this vintage, but it can be explained by the fact, that "our" bottle was not château bottled. It was Belgian bottling, signed VanderMeulen. Orange-brown. It displayed aroma of candied orange peel and real botrytis, big concentration, lot of nuances and had superb balance. Not quite a bull's eye, but anyway an impressive wine, which should last for 10 more years.
Château d'Yquem 1919 81p
Tasted in April 2005. Yellow-brown. Smelled incredibly fishy (oysters) in the nose and tasted of old and acidified fruit. This wine seemed both quite old and quite finished.
Château d'Yquem 1918 93p
Tasted twice - last time in September 2012. The wine was a Belgian bottling by VanderMeulen. Unfortunately, it had passed away, maybe due to bad storage. Almost 7,5 years later I tasted this wine in September 2012, a negociant bottling, which was stupendous and still alive. Very dark brown, full of toffee aroma, crème brulée, fine acidity, excellent structure, long and honeyed finish. Excellent and well-preserved wine, impressive experience for sure.
Château d'Yquem 1914 83p
Tasted in April 2005. Light mahogany. Smelled of worn tyres and burned caramel. Seemed quite filled with old fruit acidity and was quite dry on the palate. This was quite old and quite uninteresting wine.
D'Yquem 1906 was one of my three 100p scorers at the tasting
Château d'Yquem 1906 100p
Tasted in April 2005. Recorked in 2002. Dark mahogany. It had an incredibly intense nose of molasses and chocolate with bitter orange fill, sophisticated and deep. There was incredible fatness, concentration and nuance richness on the palate, with fabulous sweetness and chocolate, cocoa and perfect balance. It was really monumental wine and probably the most positive surprise of the tasting. This wine is almost 100 years old and still going strong – hopefully, it can add another 10 more years in its history.
Château d'Yquem 1891 93p
Tasted in April 2005. Recorked in 1990. Dark brown. It had a delightful nose of toffee, chocolate and brown sugar, and was quite sourish on the palate with a dash of sherry and tea. This was vivid wine in good balance, which made quite an impression and should easily manage to last for 3-4 more years.
114 years old d'Yquem - still going strong! May 2005
Château d'Yquem 1847 92p
Tasted in April 2005. According to Count Alexandre de Lur Saluces, the whole production of d'Yquem in this vintage was sold in bulk to negociants in Bordeaux, which meant no chateau bottling. "Our" bottle had a label with the name of the negociant responsible for bottling (F.W.Hyllested Bordeaux) and sufficient with red sealing wax on top of the cork. The colour was simply spectacular – like 1947! This wine had a nose of camphor/camphor and cloves and tasted of the same on the palate with some sweetness. It had neither passed away nor collapsed but was quite entertaining and special wine and a 158 years old curiosity.