Picked predominantly over 10 days from October 14, the 2010 d’Yquem has 141gms/L residual sugar and pH 3.80. It is a slow-burner, the nose understated at first but unfurling with each passing moment with subtle scents of freshly sliced apricots, Clementine, clear honey and white flowers. There is an underlying minerality that really defines this bouquet. The palate is similar to the nose, revealing hidden facets with almost each swirl of the glass – orange blossom, limestone, white peach and honeysuckle. This is such a precise d’Yquem; it is after you have swallowed the wine that one comprehends just how brilliant it is. 96-98/100 points, Wine Advocate (2011).
…unfurls to reveal quince, beeswax and honeysuckle aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with a viscous entry and well-judged acidity. There is a touch of orange peel lining the citrus fruit, with an effervescent finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is an excellent Yquem…. Drink 2018-2035+ 93 points, Wine Advocate (4/2014).
Extraordinary purity of aromas, with an airy power difficult to rival, a new brilliant example of the actual style of the property, with the vintage's monumental body completely hidden by the refinement of tactile sensations. Some are nostalgic for the epic oily bodies of the past, not I (even if I greatly admire them). 19/20 points.
Deep yellow with a golden tinge. Intense aromas of very ripe tropical fruit, beeswax, honey and raisin are lifted by a strong mineral edge. Very fresh, rich and sweet on entry, then extremely light on its feet, with refined flavours of ripe citrus, mango, papaya, honey and saffron complicated by tangy botrytis. A very bright and focused Yquem, with lively acidity and a long, smooth, floral finish. Boasts impeccable balance and lovely precision. 95-98 points, Antonio Galloni (08/2011).
The purity of botrytis in this wine is so impressive with dried fruits such apple and mango. And then spicy character. Full body and very sweet but it is incredibly fresh and lively. Such class and elegance. Perfectly manicured wine. Everything in the right place. This shows a delicacy and intensity that are spellbinding. 97 points, jamessuckling.com (2011).
Tropical and inviting, with lush mango, fig and papaya aromas followed by pineapple and creamed banana. The long tangerine finish is flattering and very open now, but the length is clearly there. 93-96 points (2011).
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.