Containing 135 grams per litre of residual sugar, the pale lemon-gold coloured 2016 d'Yquem leaps from the glass with honeyed apricots, pineapple, green mango, crushed rocks, candied ginger, coriander seed and citrus peel with hints of orange blossom. The palate is very tightly wound, vibrant and refreshing with layer upon layer of minerals and spices, finishing with epic poise and persistence.
98+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, March 2019.
Broad and waxy with lovely lift and precision on the palate. It’s far from the most luscious or concentrated Yquem but it is recognisably waxy Yquem with medium intensity and sweetness and great length.
18 points, Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, September 2018.
A very classic Yquem. Breathtakingly wide spectrum of floral honey, exotic fruit (passion fruit, mango and pineapple), caramel and marzipan aromas. But none of this is a jot too much. In fact, the wine is extremely precise and finely nuanced. Wonderful freshness and textural complexity, in spite of the considerable concentration and extravagance. Very suave and sensual finish that goes on and on.
99 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, December 2019.
Despite a rich botrytis character, this balances impact with delicacy. Clear citrus on the nose with a hint of flint and smoke, allowing the soft white flowers and lime blossom to steal up on you slowly. There are caramel notes through the mid-palate and great persistency, as ever. Extremely elegant. This was the driest summer since 1898, and the harvest at Yquem lasted a full two months, from 4th September (for the dry white Y d'Yquem) through to 4th November for the final selection of botrytis berries. The final yield is 20hl/ha, the highest in recent years against their average of 9hl/ha, with 40% going into the grand vin compared to 50% last year. 135g/l residual sugar and 3.9pH. 75% Sémillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc.
97 points, Jane Anson, Decanter, April 2017.
The 2016 Chateau d’Yquem is pure magic and dessert wines don’t get much better. Offering a pale gold colour as well as a blockbuster bouquet of honeyed tangerines, tart apricots, liquid rocks, white flowers, and honeysuckle, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, an opulent texture, vibrant acidity, and again, an incredible sense of minerality, despite having no shortage of sweetness or richness. The 2016 is a classic blend of 75% Sémillon and 25% Sauvignon that hit 14.2% alcohol with 135 grams of residual sugar. It’s already complex and approachable yet will keep for 3-4 decades.
99 points, Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com.
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.