2004: 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, Wine Enthusiast (6/2005).
2004: 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, Wine Spectator (2012).
2004: Wonderful aromas of pineapple, apple and lemon, with loads of botrytis. Full-bodied, but very refined, superfresh and racy. Goes on and on. Fabulous. Incredible purity and brightness. Like a perfectly cut diamond. Pierre Lurton, the manager of Yquem as well as Cheval-Blanc, really wanted to mark his arrival at the legendary estate, so he went to draconian lengths to deliver something superb in 2004. 95-100 points, James Suckling, Wine Spectator.
1994: Yellow-gold colour. Intense aromas of petrol, spice and honey, with dried apricot. Full-bodied, very sweet, with a green apple and honey character... Better with age. James Suckling, Wine Spectator.
1994: Another fairly warm year, but with more rain than usual. The harvest began on October 4 after four weeks of wet weather that unfortunately had a negative impact on plots with very sandy soil. This was followed by two weeks' picking of highly-concentrated grapes. 1994 illustrates the power and finesse of Yquem's clayey plots and also how a great terroir with diverse soils can rise above capricious weather. Chateau d’Yquem.
1984: …filled with scents of smoked almonds, cooked pineapples, and honey and caramel. In the mouth, the wine is less flamboyant, with less glycerine and power than usual, but it is still a rich, full-bodied d'Yquem with a great deal of personality and character. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate.
1984: The weather was cold and wet until July. It was hot in August, and then the rain returned. The harvest got off to a late start on October 17. Three weeks without rain made it possible to bring in a small crop. Due to the unpredictable weather, 1984 was a year of fits and starts. The art of picking as practised at Yquem was rewarded with a very small crop, but one fully in keeping with the château's standards. Chateau d’Yquem.
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.