This is a beautiful Yquem, not huge or powerful, but with crispness, honey and freshness, very expressive of the year. The higher than usual proportion of Sauvignon in the blend gives it a real lift. 94-96 points (6/2005).
Tropically ripe, with dense yet creamy layers of guava, mango, lychee and papaya, all stitched with racy lemon cream and candied grapefruit peel notes. Frangipane-framed finish pumps out wave after wave of unctuous fruit. Starting to hits its second gear, and with old-school Yquem power and muscle. Drink now through 2032. 94 points, James Molesworth (2012).
The 2004 Chateau d’Yquem’s bouquet is generous... The oak a little pronounced considering the age in bottle, but it does not leap at you shouting “I’m Yquem!” The palate has a viscous tangerine and orange peel opening with fine acidity. There is good weight in the mouth, with touches of spice and cardamom. Drink now-2035. 92 points, Wine Advocate (6/2014).
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.