One the outstanding Yquem’s of the modern age… has a limpid amber/golden colour. The nose is exuberant, just soaring from the glass with acacia honey, orange-blossom, apricots, quince and a touch of wild heather. Brilliant definition. The palate is… beautifully balanced with viscous honeyed fruit, tangerine, peach and just a hint of Seville orange marmalade. Lacquers the mouth in heavenly Sauternes with an extraordinarily long finish. Stunning! Drink now-2050+ 98 points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate (2009).
One of the outstanding Yquem’s of the modern age… has a limpid amber/golden colour. The nose is exuberant, just soaring from the glass with acacia honey, orange-blossom, apricots, quince and a touch of wild heather. Brilliant definition. The palate is perhaps more introspective than I anticipated but beautifully balanced with viscous, honeyed fruit, tangerine, peach and just a hint of Seville orange marmalade. Lacquers the mouth in heavenly Sauternes with an extraordinarily long finish. Stunning! Drink now-2050+ 98 points, Wine Advocate (5/2009).
…a brilliant effort… large-scaled, massively rich, unctuously-textured wine that should evolve effortlessly for a half century or more… reminiscent of the 1976, with additional fat and glycerine… extremely alcoholic and rich, with a huge nose of smoky, honey-covered coconuts and overripe pineapples and apricots. As with most young vintages of Yquem, the wine's structure is barely noticeable. These wines are so highly extracted and rich yet approachable young, it is difficult to believe they will last for 50 or more years. The 1989 is the richest Yquem made in the eighties, and it has an edge in complexity over the powerhouse 1983. 97 points, Wine Advocate.
Very classy and beautiful, packed with botrityzed flavours. Marvellous blend of vanilla, cream, tobacco-box notes, with a lot of oak on it for now but also loads of pure, clean and elegant fruit. An infant that will age for a long time. Best after 2020. 97 points, Peter Meltzer (5/1999)
Laid-back, extremely young aromas of honey, crème caramel, smoke and earth; essence of Semillon. Rich, large-scaled and powerful; really expands in the mouth. Lovely harmonious acidity and bright notes of orange peel and minerals give this very youthful wine great clarity of flavour. Classy and impeccably balanced. 97 points, International Wine Cellar (8/1998).
Very rich and hedonistic. Full throttle and with so much sweetness plus an almond overlay. Very long and tingly. Just gorgeous. Long. Pungent and powerful. Stunning. 19/20 points, jancisrobinson.com (5/2014).
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.