2005: Incredibly young as you might expect, yet delicious to drink already due to its honey, vanilla, creamsicle, pineapple upside-down-cake nose. Fresh, sweet and concentrated, the long finish leaves you with loads of honey-coated pineapple and apricot sensations… 96 points, Jeff Leve, Wine Cellar Insider (07/2017).
2005: This isn't sweet, but just so wonderfully rich. It’s the concentration of botrytis that makes the wine. The texture is velvet, but with a spicy bite to it. Apricot, honey and marzipan all contribute to a wine that will age over decades. 97 points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (12/2009).
2005: This has a deliciously pure feel, with juicy, inviting green plum, ginger, heather, creamed pineapple and Jonagold apple flavours all melded together and gliding through the lengthy finish, which echoes with lilting flowers and dried citrus notes. 97 points, James Molesworth, winespectator.com (2012).
2005: …the bouquet is detailed with very pure honey, vanilla and almond scents, still a little new oak to be fully assimilated but demonstrating superb focus… exquisite balance and perfectly judged acidity, but perhaps just gaining a little richness and viscosity over the last 12 months. There is an appealing completeness to this Yquem... 97 points, Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (2014).
2005: What an incredible nose of flowers, honey, spices such as clove, and sandalwood. With time, decadent aromas of apple tart and crumble develop. Full and very round on the palate, this is medium sweet with a velvety texture. Flavours of honey, apple and pear tart appear on the long finish. This is so beautiful, hard not to drink now but will greatly improve with more time. 95 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (5/2012).
1995: A deep golden colour, it has a dense and almost Barsac-like bouquet with tangerine, apricot, acacia and melted candle wax. It displays good intensity, unfolding beautifully in the glass… One can discern layers of marmalade infused with honey fruit, with a powerful, spicy finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is drinking perfectly now… 95 points, Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (3/2014)
1985: The 1985 Yquem is a powerful, rich, exceptionally concentrated wine… this massive, unctuous, light-golden-coloured Yquem makes quite a mouthful of wine with its honeyed flavours. Robert Parker (3/1992).
1985: Straw yellow. This wine tasted light, but had quite well developed botrytis, was quite luscious, harmonious and with nice aftertaste. On the palate, there was honey with touch of citron. Already nice to drink... greatbordeauxwines.com (4/2005).
1985: A very cold winter and rainy spring were followed by persistent drought conditions (only one day of rain between the September 15 and the November 1). A small crop despite a harvest begun on the October 5. In an unexpected turn of events, noble rot finally appeared. The grapes were picked in December, which is very rare, and this vintage of Yquem is nothing short of a miracle. 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.