Yquem in daylight


2019 39

Yquem while the sun is going down! Unforgettable Vinexpo dinner on the 13th of May 2019

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 the 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. However, he continued 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 in maintaining 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 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The average age of vines is 27 years, and the yield does not exceed ten hl/ha. The wine matures for 3.5 years in new barrels. Neither chaptalization 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-botrytized and fully botrytized grapes for the wine to have enough acidity to balance the sweetness.

D'Yquem is made without any compromises or consideration whatsoever about production costs - pickers are on constant alert for 1.5–2 months and do many picking rounds in the vineyard. Often, these rounds are double or triple compared to how many rounds other classified properties perform in the district. Here, we have the king of Sauternes & Barsac, the world's most expensive and most demanded dessert wine, with an enormous keeping potential (50 years+). At its best, this wine possesses purely exceptional botrytis, vast concentration, and nuance-richness, making you speechless.


Sandrine Garbay is in an 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 the restaurant "Ensemble" (2 Michelin stars) in Copenhagen, with 15 experienced tasters participating. Pure joy and sheer entertainment! I've got to say that this tasting was among the two best tastings I've ever experienced.

On Saturday, April 16th, 2005, 34 vintages were tasted, divided between lunch and dinner, and on Sunday, April 17th, 2005, 31 vintages were tasted, divided between lunch and dinner.

The tasting was semi-blind – we knew in advance which wines were served on each flight but didn't know the order of vintages in glasses. Except for the oldest vintages, wines were poured into decanters and served immediately after. Except for 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 - please read below:


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Left: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2013, and 2011 of Yquem to taste. Right: The new cellar master, Toni El Khawand, conducted the tasting.

Chateau d'Yquem 2020 (barrel sample) 97p

Tasted in April 2023. 75% Semillon + 25% Sauvignon Blanc. Intense acacia honey, orange peel, and candied mandarines, multilayered on the palate, finesse, great acidity, excellent structure, and long honeyed aftertaste. 

Chateau d'Yquem 2019 (barrel sample) 97-98p

Tasted in April 2023. 55% Semillon + 45% Sauvignon Blanc. A vintage troubled by frequent rainfall in the summer. It is a rather unusual blend, with almost half Sauvignon Blanc. White flowers and fruit on the nose, like acacia, pear, peach, and watermelon, have a bright acidity, detailed. Great complexity, length, and a rich, honeyed finish. Stupendous effort

Chateau d'Yquem 2018 97p

I tasted it twice, the last time in April 2023. It has consistent notes, a spicy heather honey aroma, rich and fat with excellent structure and big intensity, creamy and multilayered, loads of everything, detailed, and a very, very long honeyed finish. It's fabulous stuff.

Chateau d'Yquem 2017 99-100p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes.Incredibly intense nose of pear, peach, and melon, very potent on the palate, strong and concentrated, stunning acidity and richness. Enormous wine and on level with the 2015 vintage.

Chateau d'Yquem 2016 97p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. Incredibly intense nose of pear, peach, and melon, sheer power on the palate, and 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 98p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. Harvested between 5th September and 30th October, 80% went into Grand Vin. Freshness, strikingly high acidity (4.9), sophisticated and refined, incredibly intense, fantastic sweetness, vibrant and long on the aftertaste. Beautiful wine. The king still rules!

Chateau d'Yquem 2013 98p

Tasted four times - last time in April 2023. Consistent notes. Very sophisticated and intense nose of honey melon, orange peel, finesse and elegance, a great match between acidity and sweetness, remarkable complexity, and dazzling 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. That was in March 2015. Eight years later (April 2023), it was significantly better. Potent, largely scaled, multilayered with fabulous acidity and structure and endless aftertaste. I would say that it matches the quality of at least 2011, 2007, and 2005!

No Grand Vin in 2012 vintage due to insufficient sugar levels in harvested grapes.

Chateau d'Yquem 2011 98-99p

Tasted five times - last time in April 2023. Consistent notes. It is worth noticing that alcoholic fermentation went fast and without problems. This wine had multiple botrytized aromas, a lot of sweetness and corresponding acidity, sophisticated touch, fabulous intensity, stunning balance, length, and finish. That was in April 2014. Nine years later, it still kept all the ingredients in a perfect manner. Exceptional stuff.

Château d'Yquem 2010 99p

Tasted three times - last time in December 2017. Consistent notes. It had a 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.

Château d'Yquem 2009 100p

Tasted three times - last time in March 2015. Consistent notes. This wine was unctuous on the 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

Tasted twice - last time in April 2012. Consistent notes. Frost in April 2008 didn't do any damage at d'Yquem - the explanation is that d'Yquem is situated on a hilltop and has a lake close to the vineyard, which prevented frost from entering. It was intense on the nose with pear and apricots, velvety, very sophisticated, with excellent structure and great 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 refined, sophisticated, and beautifully structured wine with great intensity of aromas, great acidity, and minerality, stunningly rich, 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. It offered an incredibly refined botrytis and was superbly classy and sophisticated on the palate. Extremely intense acacia honey and pure flavors. Best wine of the vintage in the district.

Château d'Yquem 2005 98-99p

Tasted three times. - last time was in December 2017. Consistent notes. 80% of the harvest went into Grand Vin. Residual sugar 8%, alcohol 13.3%, acidity 3.6 g/l H2SO4. Extraordinary intensity of botrytized flavors – acacia flower, acacia honey, honey melon, pear, peach, and apricot. Sublime, subtle, sophisticated, and extremely long, sticks to the tongue. Acidity did beautifully support fruit. The depth, structure, and purity in this wine are 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.
Great nose with reduced flavors (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 the record-breaking earliest 26th of September and lasted only nine days! I'm totally in heaven. Extraordinarily concentrated aromas of dried fruits, candied orange peel, mango, guava, and candied apricot. Phenomenal purity and intensity. Wow! Incredibly long, ongoing aftertaste that 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 tremendously supporting the fruit. Again, you find here outstanding balance, purity, and finesse. Extraordinary wine. Slightly less intense when tasted in June 2012 - the bottle was bought in the 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 an explosion of flavors like nuts, acacia flower, honey melon, peach, and apricot. It had stunning vivacity and richness on the palate,e 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! It will probably live 50-70 years.100p. This vintage is Sandrine Garbay's favorite 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 a downpour from mid-October, which literally washed the remaining grapes away. It was also the last vintage with the 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. It was lightly golden, tasted relatively light and reserved, and showed some bitter orange peel and evident acidity. This wine has yet to find itself, so give it time.

Château d'Yquem 1998 96p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2005. Not consistent notes. Pale yellow. The nose was exquisite with well-shaped noble rot and had a lot of sweetness on the palate with mango, apricot, and acacia honey. It was a wine with pure style, much finesse, and a long aftertaste, but at the 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 in the district since 1988. Straw yellow. This wine reminded me of 1996 (served on the same flight) but showed extra turbo on the concentration and botrytis. Genuinely speaking – it is the 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 flavors and corresponding acidity, vibrant and sweet.

Château d'Yquem 1996 97p

Tasted four times - last time in June 2014. Consistent notes. Pale yellow possessed an extremely sophisticated and intense nose with dried apricot and honey melon aroma. It was composed on the palate, with oceans of nuances, sweet peaches, and apricots. Due to its high sugar content, it simply stuck to the tongue. It's a 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. Initially, it had a chemical/medicinal aroma (sulfur), but this unpleasant odor 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 a long aftertaste. It was a genuinely 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 presentable and hopefully will continue for additional 12-15 years.

Château d'Yquem 1993 89p

Tasted in April 2005. Golden. This wine reminded me of 1994 and was as elegant and tasty. It took against you with open arms. A well-made wine should keep all the good things together for the next ten years.

Château d'Yquem 1991 89p

Tasted in April 2005. Light golden. Intense nose of acacia flowers with the scent of lemon. Relatively soft on the palate with an adequate portion of sweetness, acacia honey, and pear, with excellent structure and a pleasing aftertaste. It 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 a promising future.

Château d'Yquem 1989 95p

Tasted twice - last time in March 2010. Consistent notes. Straw yellow. It had a very alcoholic nose, well-developed noble rot, fat texture, rasp honey, and tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, and guava). Still, it seemed a bit clumsy on the palate with a significant presence of alcohol. This wine looked like a giant on slippery feet, so it hopefully can develop a stronger fundament soon. Has mostly stayed the same 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, intense botrytis in the nose and a strong aroma of melon, acacia honey, and lemon peel. 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 stick to the tongue and had a meter-long aftertaste. A masterpiece! It has the potential to live 30, 40, or even more years. After tasting it in April 2012, 7 years later, this wine seemed a bit muted and may be closed. Underperformed a bit compared to the 1997 vintage.

Château d'Yquem 1987 92p

Tasted in April 2005. Knowing that this vintage was marked by abysmal weather, we didn't expect big things from this wine. But we became wiser because 1987 turned out quite successful. Pale yellow. Honey melon, pear, acacia honey, and the scent of apricot on the nose and palate. This was a light version of d'Yquem, refined, elegant, harmonic, and luscious. It will easily keep for additional ten years.

Château d'Yquem 1986 98p

Tasted in April 2005. Pale golden. We had an extraordinarily refined and distinguished wine with stunningly intense noble rot, enormous depth, intensity, length, exemplary balance, and ocean of nuances. It was a 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 well-developed botrytis, was quite luscious, harmonious, and had a nice aftertaste. On the palate, there was honey with a touch of citron. It is already nice to drink but can be enjoyed for an additional 7-10 years.

Château d'Yquem 1984 94p

Tasted in April 2005. It was tasted on the same flight as in 1987 and 1985. Straw yellow. This wine was a more concentrated version of 1987 with more fruit sweetness, intense noble rot, and better structure. It appeared delicate and mighty, showing superb quality and a 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 many nuances, beautifully balanced, and exquisitely structured. It had delicious fruit sweetness on the palate, concentration, and long aftertaste. It was fascinating wine and one to keep for at least 20 years.

Château d'Yquem 1982 89p

Tasted in April 2005. Light golden showed an intense aroma of acacia flower on the nose with well-defined noble rot, apple, and apricot. This splendid wine was well packed with apricots and peaches on the palate, harmonious and with a 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 keep all the good things for an additional ten years.

Château d'Yquem 1980 93p

Tasted in April 2005. Almost yellow-brown. Delicate 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. It had much sweetness on the nose, and botrytis had strong associations with spongy soil in the forest. It was fat and concentrated on the palate, with hazelnuts and rasp honey. Well proportioned, tasty, and with beautiful balance. It was a stunningly splendid and captivating wine for the next ten years. In September 2012, it began to show age with delicate candied fruit of orange peel and dried apricots, on the light side, elegant and with a 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 delicate sweetness, quite harmonious, tasty, and exquisite structure. This wine can be enjoyed now and during the next 15-20 years.

Château d'Yquem 1977 85p

A light wine with a certain elegance and friendly approach Tasted in April 2005. Golden. Nice aroma of apple, pear, and caramel pudding on the nose. It had some fruit sweetness coming from ripe but not botrytized grapes. Fruit acidity tasted moldy and indicated that this wine was behind its prime.


One of the best flights of the tasting - heavenly wines in all three

Château d'Yquem 1976 100p

Tasted in April 2005. Golden. It was a fantastic wine with incredibly well-composed and intense noble rot, refined and deep aroma of melon and heather honey, many nuances, enormous concentration and depth on the palate, perfect balance and aftertaste, which would not disappear. A monument of wine! Will it last for 30 years? Yes!

Château d'Yquem 1975 97p

Tasted in April 2005. Golden. It was just as concentrated and deep as in 1976, and it appeared more on the light and refined side. There was a strong citron, honey melon, and pear aroma, a lot of sweetness, and fresh acidity. It became a tremendously delicate and classic d'Yquem, which can last for at least 20 more years.

Château d'Yquem 1973 92p

Tasted in April 2005. Light brown. There was a noticeable hazelnut cream aroma in the nose and complex botrytis. Acidity was present on the palate with bite, but this wine possessed a delicate balance anyway. Splendidly built with fine length on the palate and shows a long aftertaste. Light wine but 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 intense in the nose. It had an aroma of walnut cream and crème brulée on the palate containing a rum pinch. It was sophisticated with big depth and length, delicious fruit sweetness, and tasty and captivating wine, which still can entertain. Additional 10-15 years.

Château d'Yquem 1970 90p

Tasted in April 2005. Amber. This wine was elegant and light, with an aroma of acacia honey, sugary and with pretty fresh acidity. It was nicely structured and with a delicate balance on the palate. Fine and well-made wine for drinking now.

Château d'Yquem 1969 91p

Tasted in April 2005. Dark amber. There was fine and noble botrytis, toffee, and sherry on the palate in the nose. Fruit acidity had signs of advanced age, but the balance didn't suffer from this. This was a splendid wine without much fuss and 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 an intense, strong wine with excellent structure and a toffee aroma on the nose and palate. It began tart on the palate but gradually became more harmonious in the glass. Despite barely good weather conditions, this vintage produced mighty and excellent wine, which should last ten 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 best vintages in the district's history. Golden brown with reddish nuances. Already in the nose, you could sense incredible intensity and depth with exceedingly sublime botrytis. It was an incredibly sophisticated wine with brilliant structure and excellent balance, packed with sweet apricots, peaches, and honey melon on the palate and a honey-like texture. The aftertaste lasted for several minutes, and it was simply pure perfectionism. This wine has the potential to stay for a minimum of 25 more years.

Château d'Yquem 1966 96p

Tasted in April 2005. Pale mahogany showed a 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 a "fat" texture. We enjoyed a stunning wine, which will be enjoyed for many years.

Château d'Yquem 1965 94p

Tasted in April 2005. Only a 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 intense. It was 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 color, just like cola, and aromas of mocha, burnt coffee beans, and caramel. It had some sweetness on the palate, but very little noble rot. This was light and well-balanced wine with a delicate 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 delicate 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 the first drop with an intense nose of rasp honey and brown sugar. The palate appeared very concentrated with candied fruit, delicious structure, and sweet aftertaste. This was a distinguished and enchanting wine with style, class, and vitality. It should maintain all its goodies for additional 15 years.

Château d'Yquem 1959 96p

Mahogany. Tasted in April 2005. It was similar to 1955, concerning intensity and concentration. However, this wine had more nuances and 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, well-proportioned wine with marzipan, sweet almonds on the nose and palate, and a long aftertaste. It kept its shape nicely and will continue in the next ten 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 superb balance. It was delicious and attractive wine, admirable and gracious, to be kept horizontally for ten 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 tropical fruits marinated in honey. All ingredients appeared to be a perfect match. This was eminent wine with beautiful charisma and will 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. It, however, tasted equally delicious. It will probably peak before the expected apogee for 1953. This 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 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 ingredients to satisfy you extremely. 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. It had well-marked acidity on the palate, but lusciously sweet peaches and apricots neutralized it. Currently, at its peak, this wine showed great depth and length and acted delicately and graciously. Fabulous stuff. It will easily manage to continue like that for ten 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, and it 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 another 4-6 years.

Château d'Yquem 1941 88p

Tasted in April 2005. Colour of pale tea 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 with 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. It 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. Intense nose with aroma of sherry and rum, fat on the palate, stick to the tongue, very vivid. It had extraordinary length and aftertaste on the palate with stunning balance. This wine was in fine shape and for additional keeping for at least ten years. Heavenly performance!

Château d'Yquem 1936 89p

Tasted in April 2005. Amber. A pretty elegant wine with some lusciousness, packed with candied fruits, delicate balance and fresh acidity. There was sufficient vitality and savour in this delightful wine. This one should be able to entertain for a few more years.

Château d'Yquem 1934 88p

Tasted in April 2005. Orange-brown. It had a nose of caramel,  burnt rubber and old honey, some orange peel on the palate with nice structure and length. A harmonious wine that 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 a very intense nose of candied apricots and citrus peel. 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, should be able to last for at least 20-30 more years.

Château d'Yquem 1928 82p

Tasted in April 2005. Dark amber and very special aroma and taste of salt stick with a bit of tobacco and sea salt. It was pretty atypical wine for the property, which 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, which could be explained by improper storage during its long life.

Château d'Yquem 1924 87p

Tasted in April 2005. Cola colour. Had a nose of sherry with the scent of iodine and the 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 one of the milestones in the district's history. 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, and it was Belgian bottling, signed VanderMeulen. Orange-brown. It displayed an aroma of candied orange peel and real botrytis, big concentration, many nuances, and superb balance. Not quite a bull's eye, but anyway, an impressive wine, which should last for ten more years.

Château d'Yquem 1919 81p

Tasted in April 2005. Yellow-brown. It smelled incredibly fishy (oysters) in the nose and tasted 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 spectacular 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 and smelled of worn tyres and burned caramel. It seemed pretty filled with old fruit acidity and was quite dry on the palate. It was quite an old and 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 a 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 ten years to 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. It was a vivid wine in good balance, making quite an impression, and it should easily 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 was sufficient with red sealing wax on top of the cork. The color was simply spectacular – like 1947! This wine had a nose of camphor and cloves and tasted the same on the palate with some sweetness. It had neither passed away nor collapsed but was quite entertaining and unique wine and a 158-year-old curiosity.


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