...the 1976 Chateau d'Yquem reaffirms its reputation as one of the great wines of the decade... Deep and slightly burnished in colour, it offers dried pineapple, barley sugar, almond and a cheeky puff of café latte. There is wonderful definition here. The palate is underpinned by nigh on perfect acidity with orange rind, mango, crème brûlée and minerals. As it fans out towards the finish, there is a tang of Seville orange marmalade... you will be craving for the next sip. At its peak now, enjoy this great Yquem over the next 20-30 years.
96 points, Wine Advocate, 2016
Sauternes is home to arguably the most prestigious and long-lived sweet wines in the world. Located 65 km south of the city of Bordeaux at the southern tip of the Graves, the appellation has 2100 ha of vineyards planted on flat, alluvial gravels overlying thick layers of limestone. Although viewed as one appellation, Sauternes actually consists of five communes; Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignanc, and Sauternes with Barsac also a designated appellation in its own right. What makes Sauternes unique is its special mesoclimate caused by the confluence of the Ciron and the Garonne rivers.
The region experiences evening mists in autumn which set in until late morning and are subsequently burnt off by warm sunny afternoons. It is precisely these conditions that provide the ideal environment for the growth of botrytis cinerea – a fungus that attacks the grapes, causing them to dehydrate leaving sweet shrivelled fruit, ideal for sweet wine production. Sauternes wines are made predominantly from Sémillon with Sauvignon Blanc with small amounts of Muscadelle. Golden in colour with enticing aromas and flavours of honey, acacia, stone-fruit, candied citrus and marmalade, classic Sauternes is rich, unctuous and beautifully balanced by fresh acidity. Capable of long-ageing, the wines turn deep amber with age, taking on more tertiary caramel flavours over time.