Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Yquem Chateau dYquem Sauternes Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

Learn everything about Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes, First Growth, Premier Cru Superieur Bordeaux wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn about the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau d’Yquem History, Overview

While wine lovers, collectors, chateau owners, wine makers and others can enjoy arguing which is the best wine of a specific appellation, there is only one wine in the world that is the undisputed best wine in the region. We’re not just talking about Bordeaux, we’re talking about any of the world’s wine producing regions. That honor goes to Chateau d’Yquem. Chateau d’Yquem is the only wine that almost everyone, everywhere agrees stands heads and shoulders above every other wine in the appellation. This becomes even more apparent when you’re at Chateau d’Yquem. Located on the top of a hill, you really feel like you’re in a different world that looks down on the rest of Bordeaux.

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Chateau d’Yquem is not only the most famous chateau in Sauternes today, the estate has possessed an exalted reputation dating back to the middle ages when d’Yquem was owned by the King of England. At the time, the King was also the Duke of Aquitaine. Skipping ahead 150 years later, in 1593, a local noble family, Jacques Sauvage, was given feudal tenure over d’Yquem. Shortly after taking over the property, the Sauvage family built the present Chateau in Sauternes that we know today. It still looks very much as it did in those days. It feels like a castle. The Sauvage family also changed the grape varieties in the vineyard in 1642 to 100% white wine grapes. Prior to 1642, at least 20% of the vines were planted to red wine grapes.

Was d’Yquem producing sweet or dry wine at the time? Archives prove that special Bordeaux wine growing practices and late harvesting already existed in the 1500’s in the appellation. By 1666 they were starting to make wine with grapes that were attacked by noble rot. So, yes the wines were sweet, but today, Chateau Yquem has much higher sugar levels.

During the reign of Louis XIV, in 1711 the family, which had now become nobles became the full owners of d’Yquem. The head of the family, Leon de Sauvage d’Yquem, was the great grandfather of Francoise Josephine. 1785 is the year that Chateau d’Yquem became a part of the Lur Saluces family. What happened was, in 1785, Francoise Josephine de Sauvage d’Yquem married Count Louis Amedee de Lur Saluces. Sadly, just three short years later, the count was killed in a horse riding accident. His widow took over and managed d’Yquem from that point forward.

Even in those days, the Bordeaux wine of Chateau d’Yquem was already prized by wealthy wine lovers like, Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States loved the wine. He bought several cases of it for his own cellars.

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Francoise Josephine was one of the few vocal opponents of the excesses of the French Revolution. Her views earned her two prison terms. With all that, Josephine managed to retain the estate and even constructed a new wine cellar in 1826. It was under her management that the method of picking in several different passes was perfected. In 1851, Francoise Josephine passed away. Her grandson, Romain-Bertrand de Lur Saluces became the managing director of d’Yquem. During the late 1800’s the first series of drains were placed in the vineyards of Chateau d’Yquem. Much of the work was completed between 1883 and 1886. Today, there are more than 100 kilometers, (60 miles) of drains that cover close to 80% of the vineyards at Yquem.

During World War 1, Chateau d’Yquem was used as an army hospital. Following the war, Marquis Bertrand de Lur Saluces, son of Eugene took over the estate for the next 50 years. During World War 2, Chateau d’Yquem once again served as a military hospital. As a special thank you from the French soldiers that were treated there, they planted a chestnut tree that can be seen slightly past the walls of the chateau. Bertrand de Lur Saluces, also served as the President of the Union des Crus Classes de la Gironde for forty years. He was instrumental in determining many legal aspects of the Sauternes appellation. He was also one of the leading proponents of chateau bottling to guarantee authenticity.

Chateau d’Yquem The Modern Age

Bertrand de Lur Saluces designated one of his brother’s sons, Alexandre de Lur Saluces, to take over managing Chateau d’Yquem in 1966. Bertrand Lur Saluces passed away two years later. Count Alexandre de Lur Saluces perpetuated his family’s tradition as manager of Chateau d’Yquem for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Alexandre de Lur Saluces had Chateau d’Yquem become one of the first major estates to fight fraud by introducing a watermark on their label.

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In 1996, the famous luxury good company, LVMH purchased half of the shares of Chateau d’Yquem for one hundred million dollars. The relationship between the new owners and the family members was tempestuous and inspired multiple law suits that dragged on for years. After a long, bitter court battle and multiple law suits with a myriad of heirs, the Count arranged for L.V.M.H/Moet-Hennessy-Louis Vuitton to purchase the remaining shares of the property in 2004. They named Pierre Lurton, who was already managing their other property, Cheval Blanc in St. Emilion to manage Chateau d’Yquem. Pierre Lurton kept the entire technical in place after the takeover was completed. They also brought in Denis Dubourdieu to consult, but mostly for the dry white wine.

Most top Bordeaux wine is only sold as futures. Because d’Yquem is released 4-5 years after the vintage, (Due to extended barrel aging) it was not sold as a future until the 2000 vintage. The new owners changed that policy. Starting with the 2003 vintage, the wine was sold as a future. In 2011, due to the slowing economy and the lackluster interest in the 2011 Bordeaux futures campaign, the chateau issued a statement saying they were not going to offer the 2011 d’Yquem as a future.

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However prices are high and because demand for Sauternes is moderate, the price for d’Yquem does not rise quickly. Further complicating the issue, starting with the high opening price for the 2005 as a future, the wine has not sold well as a future. A large amount of available back stock all over the world is often for sale for less than the current futures pricing. Taking that into consideration, this is not a wine worth purchasing as a future, unless you want to order the wine in a specific bottle size you prefer.

While expensive, more than twice the price of other wines from the area, when the wine matures, d’Yquem stands heads and shoulders above every other sweet Bordeaux wine from the region as well as that from any other sweet wine from all over the world! Chateau d’Yquem holds the record for the world’s most expensive bottle of white wine. In 2011, at an auction, a single bottle of the historic 1811 d’Yquem was bought for $117,000!

Chateau d’Yquem Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The vineyard of Chateau d’Yquem has 113 hectares of vines. The terroir is at the highest elevation in Sauternes, which gives it a unique micro climate. The micro-climate is paramount, because it allows for winds from the east to move through the vineyard, helping to remove unwanted, excessive moisture, especially later in the growing season, as the noble rot sets in. And due to its elevation and soils, you also find more effective drainage here. At its highest point, on the plateau of d’Yquem, it reaches 80 meters. The vineyard has 3 undulating slopes that range in height from 30 meters to 80 meters, (262 feet). At its peak elevation, the vineyard faces north, in the direction of the Garonne river.

The terroir is a combination of clay, gravel and sand over a bed of deep, limestone soil. The clay varies, depending on the parcel. You can find deposits of clay with limestone and even some of the same blue clay that makes up the soil of Petrus. The large deposits of clay are one of the main differences that separate Yquem from other vineyards. There are a total of 150 different parcels in the vineyards of Yquem. It is the blending of the parcels, soils, grape varieties, clones and rootstocks that produce the magic of Chateau d’Yquem.

The vineyard of d’Yquem is planted to 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The vines are on average 25 years of age. Generally speaking, vines are replaced before they hit 50 years of age. Today Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc are planted in their own, respective parcels. That was not always the case. In the early part of the 20th century, the vines were often co-planted, although they were divided by the same ratio that exists today.

The grapes are always picked by hand, berry by berry. During harvest, it can take multiple passes through the vineyards to harvest berries with enough ripeness and Botrytis. Due to the intensive sorting and berries attacked by Botrytis, yields have always been low at Chateau d’Yquem, ranging from 8 to 10 hectoliters per hectare. One way to look at the reality of those low yields is to consider that each vine, delivers only 1 glass of wine! Those low yields have remained constant for centuries. Interestingly, part of what makes the wine of Chateau d’Yquem stand out is that the fruit is harvested with different levels of Botrytis, which adds complexity, sweetness and acidity, the three main components needed to produce great Sauternes wine. It’s important to note that grapes are never harvested when it rains, or in the morning, to avoid dew. It takes on average 180 different pickers divided into 4 separate groups during harvest time to complete the picking. This comes out to 2 pickers per hectare, which explains the intense selection and sorting that takes place here.

Starting with the 1992 vintage, Chateau d’Yquem instituted their own massal selection program. The vineyard is always in the process of being replanted. To maintain their average age, between 2 to 3 hectares of vines are replaced each year. Close to 10% of their vineyard remains uncultivated. Instead that land is used for parkland and a grazing pasture. Only organic fertilizers from manure are used at d’Yquem and that comes from animals that graze on their land.

Botrytis cinerea is a fungus that infects and attacks the grapes. It is better known as noble rot, due to the special and sought after qualities it imparts to the fruit. This rot needs specific conditions to develop, dampness or humidity in the morning, coupled with warmth later in the day. This leaves the fruit without much moisture. The grapes become shriveled, dehydrated and concentrated with new characteristics. These new qualities are sought after in Sauternes and other wine regions outside Bordeaux for their honey filled, tropical, roasted nut and exotic sensations.

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To produce the wine of Chateau d’Yquem, it all starts in the vineyard with the desire to pick only the ripest possible fruit that have been attacked by Botrytis. This is a labor intensive process that requires multiple passes in the vineyards. In difficult vintages, pickers have made as many as 13 passes, hoping to find berries to the satisfaction of Chateau d’Yquem. Once the fruit is sorted, the grapes are pressed 3 times using pneumatic presses for the first two pressings. The final pressing is conducted in a vertical press. The juice from the third press is vinified separately and if it is used, it’s blended in after the barrel aging. It can take from 2 to 6 weeks for the alcoholic fermentation to be completed. The amount of time depends on the vintage and the sugar levels.

The vinification takes place in 100% new, French oak barrels. Another change in the wine making at Yquem is the amount of time the wine spends aging in new oak. The wine is aged in different barrels that are arranged depending on the picking date of each parcel during the harvest. In total, it can take as many as 400 barrels each year to hold the entire production. While the wine of Chateau d’Yquem is made in the vineyard, it takes a little help, which is accomplished by the technical director Francis Mayeur and Sandrine Garbay, the cellar master who along with Pierre Lurton, are a large part of the face for the estate. In 2011, the estate changed their vinification process. In prior vintages, in order to halt to fermentation process to retain higher sugar levels, they reduced the temperature. But since 2011, they have added sulphur to stop fermentation.

Prior to 2000, Yquem was aged for an average of 36 months in 100% new, French oak barrels. Today, Yquem spends only 30 months in 100% new, French oak barrels. The grapes come from up to 40 different parcels. The blending of the parcels and both grape varieties take place about 10 months after the harvest for between 80% and 90% of the harvest. The remainder of the wine is blended in, or not, slightly prior to bottling. Chateau d’Yquem on average produces close to 10,000 cases of wine per vintage.

How much sugar is in d’Yquem? In the 20th century and before, it was common for Yquem to have average sugar levels that ranged from 80 grams per liter to 120 grams per liter. Today, the goal is for more sweetness, which can range from 120 grams per liter to 140 grams per liter. The rise in sugar levels and thus viscosity, has also been accompanied by freshness, from acidity. This leveling balance is a large part of what gives the wine of Chateau d’Yquem its unique character.

When Chateau d’Yquem is first bottled, it shows a dark yellow or gold hue. With aging, the color changes and begins getting darker. 40 year old d’Yquem could resemble caramel, while bottles twice that age, could have the color of dark coffee. Something else to consider, when d’Yquem is young, not more than 25 years after the vintage, the flavors will better resemble honey, drenched tropical fruit. As the wine ages further, often those yellow tropical fruit flavors fade and tasters experience flavors of caramel, burnt toast, spice and creme brulee.

When to Drink Chateau d’Yquem, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau d’Yquem can be enjoyed on the young side with no decanting. Of course the wine is sweet, but there is so much, incredible, racy acidity, the wine always feels fresh, and never cloying, which makes it quite fun to enjoy young. With Chateau d’Yquem and frankly, all Sauternes, temperature is more important than decanting. Chateau d’Yquem is delicious on release. But d’Yquem does not reach full maturity for 35-50 years, or even longer in the best vintages! That is when the magic happens! But that is unrealistic for 99% of the world’s wine drinkers. So, enjoy it at any special occasion that calls for it.

Serving Chateau d’Yquem with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau d’Yquem is best served at 14 degrees Celsius, 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. The wine will naturally, slowly warm in the glass, while it develops more aromatic complexities and fleshes out. Chateau d’Yquem can be served with seafood dishes, especially shellfish, lobster, crab and oysters on the half shell. Foie gras is a perfect pairing with its natural sweet, salty and savory characteristics. Chateau d’Yquem can also be paired with roasted chicken, veal and pork dishes that are either spicy, or prepared with a touch of sweetness. Spicy Asian cuisine, raw fish, like sushi or sashimi, and cheese, both hard and soft also make great pairings with Chateau d’Yquem.

The best vintages of Chateau d’Yquem are: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1997, 1996, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1986, 1983, 1976, 1975, 1967, 1962, 1959, 1949, 1947, 1945, 1937, 1929, 1927, 1921, 1893, 1869, 1847 and 1811.

Chateau d’Yquem Dry White Wine

Chateau d’Yquem also produces a dry, white Bordeaux wine called “Y,” which is pronounced (Ygrec). The wine is only made in select vintages. The first vintage for the production of dry, white wine at Chateau d’Yquem took place in 1959.

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To make the dry white Bordeaux wine of d’Yquem, the fruit the estate uses does not only come from declassified grapes. Most of the berries are picked before the harvesting of the grapes for the production of Chateau d’Yquem has started. The blend of “Y” is normally close to 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. Interestingly, this is almost the complete opposite of the grape blend that is placed in Chateau d’Yquem! Since 2000, it has become more common to see vintages of “Y,” than in previous years. This is due to an increase in the production. Today, slightly less than 1,000 cases are produced of “Y”.

To produce the dry white Bordeaux wine from d’Yquem, the wine is vinified in stainless steel vats. In fact, in 2012, the estate added several new, gleaming, stainless steels for the vinification. There is no malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for an average of 10 months. During its aging time, the wine is aged on its lees. This marks a major change in the wine, as previously, the wine was aged for up to 18 months in barrel before bottling. Starting with the 2011 vintage, the chateau completely redesigned the label for “Y”. The dry white wine of Yquem, “Y” is sold as a Bordeaux Superieur Blanc. Chateau d’Yquem does not produce a second wine. Instead, they declassify the unwanted grapes or wine.

Yquem Declassified Chateau dYquem Sauternes Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

While the estate strives to make a vintage of Chateau d’Yquem every year, that is not always possible. Chateau d’Yquem ended up declassifying the entire harvest and did not make wine in the following vintages, 1910, 1915, 1930, 1951, 1952, 1964, 1972, 1974, 1992 and 2012. Even with as many as thirteen separate passes in the vineyards, as the grapes were not up to their high standard to produce a wine worthy of Chateau d’Yquem, they did not produce any wine in those years.

So, what does Chateau d’Yquem do with the declassified wine? In the past, declassified grapes that were not used in the production of their dry, white wine “Y”, were sold off in bulk and used to produce a generic, Sauternes wine. Today, declassified grapes are also used to produce a special blend of declassified d’Yquem that is only available to employees through internal sales at the property. The wine is not meant to be sold as a commercial product. The wine is classed as a generic AOC Sauternes wine.

Chateau d’Yquem is no like no other sweet wine in the world. It combines compelling aromatics of flowers, honey, tropical fruits, vanilla, stone, apricot, white peaches, grilled nuts and oranges when young. As the wine ages, it takes on a deeper color with an orange copper hue and starts to show scents of caramel, butterscotch and honeyed tropical fruits. With more time, the wine develops chocolate tones are as well. Chateau d’Yquem is concentrated, rich and deep, but even with all that sweetness going on, there is a spine of racy, acidity that keeps the wine fresh and lively. The textures are pure silk and velvet. Yes, other sweet white Bordeaux wines can deliver similar characteristics to varying degrees when young, but when most other wines have dropped their fruit, Chateau d’Yquem continues to age and evolve.

It is not uncommon for the best vintages of Chateau d’Yquem to deliver intense pleasure at 100 years of age, if they were well stored. While Chateau d’Yquem is expensive, it delivers a unique tasting experience, coupled with the ability to age for decades, and in the best vintages, there is no other wine that competes at the same level.

Château d'Yquem Wine Tasting Notes

48 Vintages 632537 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2016Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)97 pts

Fat, sweet, tropical fruits, apricots and Mandarin oranges slathered in honey, vanilla and flowers. This is quite rich, powerful and concentrated. It has more freshness than the 2003, but not as much freshness as you find in 2013. Still, this is complex, deep, long and intense, yet remarkably light on its feet. This will age much longer than I will.

97 points - Tasted
2015Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)100pts

Stunning in every sense of the word, the wine has an incredible level of sweetness; concentration of flavor, acidity and sweet honeyed, perfectly ripe and overripe tropical fruits. It is almost too much of a good thing. Note, I said almost! Yet, everything is in an amazing sense of balance and harmony. The finish must stay with you for at least 60 seconds or longer. Made from blending 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon, the wine reached 13.9% alcohol with a pH of 3.65 pH. The wine is incredibly sweet with 144 grams per liter of sugar, but this is all kept in check due to the 6.2 grams per liter of total acidities. The harvest took place from September 3, to October 21. They took 4 passes through the vineyards this year. 99 - 100 Pts

100 points - Tasted
2014Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)97 pts

Very much on the honeyed, citrus side of the style range. Lots of sweet, ripe, very ripe and overripe yellow fruits, ranging from pineapple and grapefruits to candied lemons. There is a lot of sweetness to the wine, paired with bracing acidity at 4.9 grams per liter, coupled with 135 grams of residual sugar, for those of you that like the numbers. This could be a thinking man's Yquem.

97 points - Tasted
2013Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)98 pts

Everything you want in a sweet wine is here. The vibrant acidity, layers of ripe and overripe tropical fruit, ladles of honey and freshness in the finish, which just keeps on going.

98 points - Tasted

I should be embarrassed, having tasted this wine everyday for close to a week. But it's so good, I kept going back for more. And who could blame me? It is everything a great sweet wine should be. Blazing acidity, fat, rich, ripe and over ripe pineapples, apricots, peaches, nuts and honey that does not quit, with a fresh quality amidst its layers of unctuous, honey drenched fruit. Made from a blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc, if you're a fan of sweet wines, this is clearly a glass of wine you need to taste and drink!

98 points - Tasted

Intense notes of grilled nuts open this intoxicating perfume of pineapple, orange, tangerine, vanilla custard, lemon curd, honey, candied grapefruit and spice. Intense, fat, concentrated and deep, the wine is long, lively and fresh with a honeyed pineapple and toasted, brioche finish. Interestingly, the wine will follow the pattern that took place with the 2011 Yquem and will not be offered as a future. 96-98Pts

98 points - Tasted
2012Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)0 pts

No Chateau d'Yquem was produced in 2012. The entire harvest was declassified.

0 points - Tasted
2011Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)98 pts

This beautiful Sauternes offers intense aromatics packed with overripe pineapple drenched in honey, roasted nuts, apricots, nectarines, white peach, flowers, orange rind and honey in the complex perfume. Thick, rich and intense, with the viscosity of motor oil, along with tropical fruit dripping with honey and the perfect amount of acidity for the 144 grams of residual sugar to give this elixir lift, 2011 Chateau d’Yquem is majestic. I do not think it’s quite at the same level of quality as the legendary 2001, but it’s not that far off. 98-99 Pts

98 points - Tasted
2009Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)99 pts

Stunning levels of concentration, ripe, very, ripe, extremely ripe and over ripe tropical fruits, vanilla, coconut, flowers, honey and spice. Silky textures and a sweet, honeyed finish that does not want to quit.

98 points - Tasted

Thick, rich and intense, with powerful, fresh, sweet, pure waves of ripe and over ripe tropical fruit drenched in honey, nuts, crème brulee, vanilla, orange and honeysuckle, the wine coats your tongue, mouth and palate with sweetness, yet there is the right amount of acidity to give it lift. This stunning vintage of Chateau d’Yquem should outlive anyone reading this tasting note!

99 points - Tasted
2008Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)93 pts

Light in color and in weight, this vintage of Chateau d'Yquem wine offers with a nose of flowers, honey, apricots and pineapple. Medium bodied, with zesty acidity, this lighter style of Sauternes feels more like a Barsac on the palate. It lacks the weight, density and concentration of a great Yquem. The finish ends with fresh orange rind, pineapple, roasted nuts and apricots lightly drizzled with honey. For the price Chateau d'Yquem is selling for, I want to be blown away when I taste the wine. 2008 d'Yquem is a nice wine, and it repsents what was possible with the vintage. But that's not what I want or expect for this much money or from Chateau d'Yquem.

93 points - Tasted
2007Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)98 pts

So young, but equally delicious, it is impossible not to love this. Rich, concentrated, luscious fruits, lift and energy with a finish that delivers layers of tropical fruits, pineapple, white peach, honey, vanilla bean, apricot and spice.

97 points - Tasted

WOW! At just 10 years of age, it's impossible not to be blown away by this wine. Rich, concentrated, unctuous and packed with multiple layers of sweet, ripe and and very ripe golden fruits, honey, flowers and vanilla. What makes it all work is the blazing acidity that keeps it all so fresh and vibrant. You can wait decades for full maturity, and it will be worth the wait. Or, you can just pop a cork and enjoy the thrill ride as young Sauternes are not much better than this.

98 points - Tasted

I've often heard that you really cannot drink enough Yquem, can you? While I really believe that's true, I'm looking forward to the day we find out for sure. Sip after sip of laser focused, perfectly ripe, tropical fruit, citrus, apricots, vanilla, white peach and nectarine all slathered in honey with incredible levels of freshness made each sniff, swirl and swallow a treat. This is quite primary, but the fruit and textures are so gorgeous, it's difficult not to love the wine in your glass.

97 points - Tasted

Very sweet, powerful and concentrated, with fresh, lively, honey drenched tropical fruits, vanilla and floral notes. The wine has depth, complexity and length. Now, all it needs is a decade or two of bottle age.

97 points - Tasted

I wish I could afford this elixir. It has all the right stuff with its racy personality and decadent layers of juicy, ripe, honey coated tropical fruits, spices, vanilla, nuts and coconut. The wine is perfectly balanced between sweetness and acidity, with freshness and a beautiful purity of fruit. It sort of reminds me of the 1989 d’Yquem in its youth, except that was only $75 a half bottle.

98 points - Tasted

Some wines, due to the fame of the marquee, light up the faces of eager tasters when they are opened. The list of wines deserving of those accolades is short and sweet. Speaking of sweet, at the top of the pyramid of the world's sweet is Chateau d'Yquem. With its track record of successful vintages, that's where it belongs. 2007 d'Yquem is another great success for the chateau! With a deep gold color, the nose explodes with honey, flowers, white peaches, nectarines, orange rind, vanilla custard, nuts and overripe pineapple. There is an intensity of flavor, multiple layers of sweet, ripe, honey drenched fruit and the perfect amount of acidity to give the wine ample lift keeping it fresh.

98 points - Tasted
2006Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)96 pts

It take little effort to find the ripe, sweet, tropical fruits, apricot, candied orange peel, pineapple, vanilla, floral and honey notes in the nose. The wine is sweet, with luscious textures, freshness but not as much lift as you find in the best years. This is not cloying per se, but more freshness would really make this pop. Still, the sweet, luscious, unctuous, honey coated tropical fruits and vanilla in the finish are more than enough to put a smile on your face.

96 points - Tasted

Better than the previous vintage, with its showy nose of vanilla, coconut, orange rind, apricot, marmalade, pineapple and white peaches that were soaked in honey for weeks on end. The wine is rich, intense, pure and refined, but it’s not the most concentrated or exotic style.

96 points - Tasted
2005Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)97 pts

This seems to be holding much of what it has to offer in reserve. With effort, the floral, pineapple, apricot and spiced honey came out. Concentrated, and pure, this is a very good wine, but it is probably not going to morph into one of the great Yquems.

96 points - Tasted

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, pineapples and apricot sensations. If this is the only vintage of d'Yquem you own, I get why you might want to pop a cork. But patience will add a lot to the wine.

96 points - Tasted

With a nose that won’t let go, due to the intense floral, apricot, honey, pineapple, vanilla, custard and white peach aromas that take over the room. On the palate, the wine is rich, sweet, intense, long and fresh, serving up the difficult combination of honey coated fruit and acidity.

97 points - Tasted
2004Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)93 pts

Not a very generous vintage of Yquem. Yes, there was sweetness in the fruit with touches of honey on the tropical nuances, but there was no real wow factor here. This is a nice enough sweet wine, but it is never going to be a great vintage of Chateau d'Yquem.

92 points - Tasted

A nice Sauternes, but not a great d'Yquem. More interesting on the tropical, fruit filled nose, than on the palate, this will age well, but it's never going to deliver the fireworks many have come to expect from d'Yquem.

93 points - Tasted

With a nose of vanilla, honey, flowers, apricot and tropical fruits with orange accents, the wine is rich, sweet and spicy with a honey coated, orange sickle and pineapple finish with refreshing acidity, but lacking the concentration and levels of sweetness found in the best years.

93 points - Tasted
2003Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)97 pts

The initial baby fat from the low acidity is barely noticeable today. The wine is now popping with its perfect combination of freshness and honeyed sweetness. The layers of honey drenched tropical fruits, apricots, white peach, vanilla and a hint of custard taste, smell and feel great. Drink this now for its youthful pleasure or wait decades for an entirely different experience. It's a beauty and for d'Yquem, it's fairly priced, especially when you factor in its high quality and style.

97 points - Tasted

2003 d’Yquem is a fun wine to taste. It's absolutely delicious! It's spicy, thick, sweet, lush, fat and opulet in character with its layers of over ripe, honey drenched, juicy, pineapple, apricot, tropical fruits, vanilla and nut filled character. Not as complex as the best vintages of Chateau d'Yquem, and not quite as fresh, this is still a stunning sweet, white Bordeaux wine. And it sells for a very fair price for d'Yquem these days. Drink it now, or age it for decades.

95 points - Tasted

While d’Yquem is never inexpensive, recent vintages are appallingly expensive. It’s not realistic for buyers to purchase futures, or new releases for more money than previous vintages. 2003 marks the last realistically price year for d’Yquem. This is good news because the wine is fabulous. It gets better each time I taste it. With an ocean of fat, super sweet, incredibly ripe, dense, thick waves of pineapples, apricots, oranges, tangerines, peaches and nectarines all coated with macadamia nut honey, vanilla and nuts, it’s a treat to sniff, swirl and best of all sip. It’s not the 2001, but it’s a beautiful d’Yquem that sells for less than half the price.

97 points - Tasted

When first tasted on release, the wine was much thicker and seemed in need of higher levels of acidity as the wine felt slightly cloying. Over the past few years, this is starting to mature in a good direction. This will not cause any taster to forget the sublime 2001, but the wine has starting to come together and feel fresher, with better balance in the mouth. Layers of fresh pineapple, apricots, grilled nuts, nectarines and orange peel dipped in honey make up the wines flavor profile. Give this another decade and you should see a lot of improvement, if you can keep your hands off it.

97 points - Tasted

With the color of spun honey, this impressive Yquem offers a rich nose of honey, apricots, spice, orange rind, vanilla, peach and pineapple. Thick, intense, powerful and sweet, this wine really coats your mouth. The long finish is stuffed with ripe, honey drenched tropical fruit. This is a low acid vintage for Yquem, so the it lacks a little bit of lift. But the fruit shows much intensity and purity, it's exciting to drink even at this young age.

97 points - Tasted

Layers of rich, over ripe, tropical fruit dipped in honey with coconut accents. The wine has the perfect dose of acidity giving it freshness and lift.

95 points - Tasted

For my palate, this majestic elixir is the best Yquem since 1990, following the flawless 2001 of course. Tasted 3 times with the same results, this rich, unctuous, ripe, intensely concentrated wine explodes from the glass with a cornucopia of honeyed, floral, spice and tropical scents. The wine glides across your palate in continuos waves of sensuous, ripe, sweet fruit. 2003 is like a blend of 88 & 90 to me. Very dense, powerful and concentrated. A little more acidity would have pushed the score higher.

97 points - Tasted
2002Lur-Saluces "Y"  (Bordeaux Supérieur)94 pts

With an interesting nose combining Riesling like petrol scents with the smells of tropical fruits and citrus rind, the wine is fresh, elegant, plush and drinking in a great place today.

93 points - Tasted

Y is the dry white wine of Chateau d’Yquem. This powerful, intense, concentrated wine is filled with ripe tropical fruit, vanilla, floral and mineral notes. This richly textured wine, lingers on your palate with sensations of lightly honeyed tropical fruit and rocks.

94 points - Tasted
2001Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)100pts

This rockstar wine never fails to please the palate and the senses in every way. Incredibly concentrated, yet light on its feet. Sweetness galore, but with the racy acidity needed to give it lift. The fruit has the beautiful, sense of purity and everything is slathered in honey. I need more!

100 points - Tasted

What can I say that hasn't already been said? Purity, intensity, freshness, density and complexity in spades. This is as good as a sweet wine gets. The scary thing is, it has not even budged towards maturity. Having tasted Yquem at 80 years of age, current owners will never see it. But who cares as this is damn delicious today?

100 points - Tasted

Take the ripest, juiciest pineapple you have ever seen, meaning today, just touching brings the juice out, tomorrow, it will begin falling apart. Place it in a hot pan filled with butter, brown sugar, honey and apricots for the aromas. Drizzle in the juice of a Meyer lemon to give it all the acidity it needs and sip slowly, to experience the full essence of its stunning, unctuous personality. The wine does not go softly into the good night as the finish remains for more than 60 seconds!

100 points - Tasted

This is a thrill a sip wine. It's so young and so beautiful in all its fresh, ripe, pineapple, floral, vanilla, creme custard, honey nut glory. The sweetness is perfect and the racy acidity takes it to another level from there. If you're over 50, start drinking it now for the pleasure. If you're under 30, save it for 30 years.

100 points - Tasted

If some artists or performers are known and described by only one name, Jimi, Picasso, Matisse, Madonna, Garbo, perhaps the only descriptor needed for this wine is 2001 d’Yquem. I know that works for anyone lucky enough to have tasted this nectar. The best vintage since 1975 for the estate is off the charts, in all the right ways! It blends intense, massive layers of pure, ripe, honey drenched fruits with bracing acidity give it a laser like focus that is found in few other wines. While it’s not close to maturity, drinking this now is a thrill a sip ride. If you lay down a few bottles for your kids, OK, make that your grandchildren, they will remember you fondly.

100 points - Tasted

It's funny. I taste this wine at least a few times a year and I seldom take notes, thinking I've already posted a current view on this sexy, sweet elixir. I was surprised to see only one note published. Time to fix that situation. If aromatics are your thing, the blast of fresh green apples, apricot, smoke, caramel, white peach, molasses and pineapple slathered in honey is the right place to start. Thick, rich, intense and packed with countless layers of ripe, and over ripe fruit, the wine ends with a dense, silky, fat, opulent finish. The zippy acidity keeps everything where it should be. Drink this now, or save for your kids, kids and let them taste their first 100 year old wine.

100 points - Tasted

This perfect Sauternes gets better every time I taste it. Thick, rich, ripe, extremely concentrated with honeyed, tropical fruit and the right jolt of racy acidity to give it lift and keep everything in balance.

100 points - Tasted
2000Lur-Saluces "Y"  (Bordeaux Supérieur)90 pts

With hints of peach and apricot, that adds a touch of sweetness to the strong citrus component, the wine is medium bodied, bright and crisp.

90 points - Tasted
1999Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)88 pts

Other than the label, there is no reason to own or buy this wine. An abundance of better choices at half the price are available from the 01 vintage. Light honeyed yellow fruit without much centration of boytrytis make this an easy pass.

88 points - Tasted
1998Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)93 pts

Medium bodied, lighter style of d'Yquem, with a lean to the orange, apricot, tangerine side of the style range. This is an Yquem that does not require, or even ask for decades of age. It's quite tasty today.

93 points - Tasted

Due to the lack of botrytis in the vintage, I was not expecting to like the 1998 d'Yquem as much as I did. I love it when a wine shows much better than expected! The nose was filled with vanilla, honeysuckle, apricot, pineapple and spice. Medium/full bodied, sweet, round and lush, the wine ends with a delicious mouthful of candied orange, apricot, spice, vanilla custard and sweet pineapple.

93 points - Tasted
1997Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)96 pts

On a rapid path to full maturity, the wine delivers a beautiful, purity of ripe, and over ripe tropical fruit, honey, floral and spice notes, all wrapped up in an elegant, silky, opulently, textured bundle.

96 points - Tasted

The nose is complex, with time, buttered popcorn, caramel, butterscotch, candied orange, honey, pineapple and apricot scents emerge. Fresh, sweet, concentrated, vibrant, long and not at all heavy or cloying, this is still quite young, yet, with its all its attributes, it's a treat to drink today. Patient consumers will be happy in 10, 20, 30 or or more years I'm quite sure. This was the perfect end to a great Thanksgiving dinner.

96 points - Tasted

Opened for International Sweet Wine day, this was a stunner. White peaches, flowers, apricot and pineapples were slathered in honey and vanilla. The wine is rich, concentrated, full bodied and luscious, with sweetness, viscosity and freshness. Still young, this is great now and it's only going to get better with 5, 10, 20 or 30 years of age, depending on how you like it.

96 points - Tasted

Another fabulous tasting experience. It's a treat to sample the balancing act between the layers of perfectly ripe, honeyed tropical fruits and the acidity that keeps everything lively and fresh. Still young, you can pop a cork today for its youthful exuberance, or wait a few decades for the caramel, butterscotch and spicy notes to appear.

96 points - Tasted

Drinking d'Yquem never gets old. The beautiful, perfectly ripe tropical fruit drenched in honey, vanilla and spicy tones, coupled with racy acidity keeps the wine fresh and exciting. Still young, the wine has barely moved, except in texture. But you do not have to wait for decades to experience this wine. It's great today and will be even better if, or when your grandchildren open it. That is... if you can keep your hands off it.

96 points - Tasted

If you want Chateau d'Yquem in your cellar and you do not want to spend the money for the 2001, run, do not walk and buy this wine. It's a very good example of what makes Yquem great! With the perfect level of acidity to create freshness and lift, the extremely ripe pineapple, apricot, tropical fruit, floral, vanilla, nut and spice aromas are worth the price of admission. On the palate, the elegant wine is not heavy, it's about balance, purity and sweetness, coupled with lift. If you like your Sauternes young, and most people do, pop a cork! If you prefer waiting, there is no hurry on this winner.

96 points - Tasted

Medium rich with honeyed, tropical fruit notes and vanilla. This is a very well made Yquem, perfectly balancing acidity and sweetness. But, it lacks the concentration, depth and level of botrytis found in the best years. For my palate, this is probably what a vintage like 70 or 71 tasted like young.

95 points - Tasted
1996Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)96 pts

A beauty that is already fun to taste and enjoy for its honeyed, apricot, spice, pineapple, orange peel and vanilla bean profile. Low acid and fat in style, this glass of sunshine and pleasure hits the sweet spot.

95 points - Tasted

Pineapple, apricot and tropical fruits coated with honey and nuts in the perfume, there is a sweetness and intensity of overripe orange and spicy tropical fruits coated with honey, with enough acidity to keep the wine fresh. This already drinking well and should for decades.

95 points - Tasted

1996 Chateau d'Yquem opens to exotic scents of honey coated, apricots, vanilla, white peaches, flowers, roasted nuts, orange rind and pineapple. This rich, sweet, thick, full bodied wine is filled with honey drenched, tropical fruit with the perfect amount of acidity to give it lift. Still young, another decade will add a lot to this stunning Sauternes.

96 points - Tasted
1995Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)94 pts

The is a clearly a nice Sauternes, but it's not a great Yquem. Made in a discreet, subdued style, the typical flamboyance, wealth of fruit and bracing acidity is just not there.

94 points - Tasted

This is d'Yquem light. If you're a fan of vintages like 1999, you will like this more than I did. The fruit is sweet, soft and open. There is a nice honeyed, tropical character to the wine, but it lacks the concentration and depth found in the top years for this wine.

92 points - Tasted
1994Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)85 pts

It's almost always exciting to taste any vintage of d'Yquem. Especially one that you've never seen before. On the other hand, there's an exception for every rule. 94 Yquem is the exception to the rule. This could have been a bottle of "Y", the dry wine produced by Yquem. It lacked concenttration, sweetness and botrytis. Petrol, apricots and unclean flavors, plus a large tab for an overpriced wine is what you'll find in this vintage of off Yquem. This is not a bad wine, it's a poor Yquem. There is a difference. This is not a wine to buy.

85 points - Tasted
1990Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)99 pts

Served in Reidel Sommelier glasses, the aromatics exploded with an array of secondary notes. I mention the glasses, because I have never experienced all the buttered popcorn, creme caramel, Cointreau, brown sugar, crème brulee, melted butter and white chocolate aromas that were sitting on top of the honey coated, tropical fruits before. Dense, but not overbearing, rich, but not cloying, fresh, but never overly acidic, everything was in perfect balance and harmony. The scary thing is, the wine is just starting to enter its second phase of development. What happens in the next 30 years is going to be even better!

99 points - Tasted

Like all great wine, this just keeps improving with age. I should age as well. Rich, luscious, opulent and concentrated, there is intensity of flavor, purity of fruit and a complexity few other wines offer. The finish, with its perfect blend of honey coated fruits and bracing acidity must keep you busy for at least 50 seconds. At 27, this is just starting to open. You can drink this now, wait a decade or save it for your grandchildren. Me, I'm not waiting, this is a beauty.

98 points - Tasted

Floral, honey, creme brulee, apricot, nectarine and orange make a beautiful, complex perfume. Viscous and intense. Very concentrated. Lots of ripe tropical pineapple, peach, pear, apricot and cherry fruit that seems drenched in honey and topped with vanilla. Mouth coating. It does not have acidity found in the 01. But the wine is not cloying. The finish is long, pure and the way to end a splendid night of wines and friendship, both old and new.

97 points - Tasted

Golden honey in color, potent scents of toast, honey, fresh baked croissants, grilled nuts, pineapple, apricot and white peaches waft from the glass. Rich, unctuous, sweet, dense, ripe pineapple, mango, apricot, spice, vanilla and over ripe peaches drenched in honey coat your palate. This is a delicious, ripe, sweet Chateau d'Yquem that will age and improve for decades.

97 points - Tasted

The wine is a thrill to put your nose in. That is if you’re turned on by ripe apricots, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, flower, honey, grilled nuts and coconut aromatics. Thick, rich, dense and concentrated, this powerful wine fills every nook and cranny in your mouth with fat sensations of ripe fruit, dripping with honey and roasted nut flavors. The intense long finish has enough acidity to keep everything in balance.

97 points - Tasted

Remains youthful. The wine is a thrill to put your nose in. That is if you’re turned on by ripe apricots, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, flower, honey, grilled nuts and coconut aromatics. Thick, rich, dense and concentrated, this powerful wine fills every nook and cranny in your mouth with fat sensations of ripe fruit, dripping with honey and roasted nut flavors. The intense long finish has enough acidity to keep everything in balance.

97 points - Tasted

Massive levels of ripe, tropical, honeyed fruit with the perfect amount of acidity to give it lift. As good as it is, it's going to keep improving for decades

98 points - Tasted

Layer after layer of the richest, sexiest, lush, tropical fruit you ever tasted all dipped in honey. As concentrated and powerful as it is, you never tire from sipping it as there's enough acidity to offer it lift. It’s an amazing, decadent, tasting sensation!

98 points - Tasted

Deeply colored, offers flawless balance, intense sweetness and the perfect amount of acidity to keep it fresh. This is incredibly thick and concentrated with aromatics of honeyed pineapples, coconut custard and spicy apricots. Still very young and primary.

98 points - Tasted
1989Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)98 pts

This just keeps getting better and better, like all great wines! Thick and rich, with enough extract of ripe and over ripe tropical fruit slathered in honey that you want to eat it. But the racy acidity keeps it all in check. Drink this now, wait a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years of gift it to your kids. Great stuff!

98 points - Tasted

The right, no make that perfect balance of freshness, sweetness and honey slathered fruit that coats your palate with the essence of ripe, very ripe and extremely ripe.

97 points - Tasted

No matter how many times I taste this elixir, it's always an exciting tasting experience. I've been lucky enough to have tasted this vintage twice, in the last 3 three and both times, the pineapple, floral, vanilla, apricot, spice and white peaches drenched in honey made a compelling bouquet. On the palate, over the years the wine has continued putting on weight and gaining new levels of complexity. There is a beautiful purity to the fruit that is not found in other wines. The acidity keeps it fresh and lively. At 24 years of age, it's still a baby. Drink it now, or save it for your lucky grandchildren.

98 points - Tasted

Rich, filled with honey covered tropical fruit and acidity to give it lift should deliver pleasure for decades.

96 points - Tasted

Honeyed apricots, flowers, vanilla, oak aromas were easy to catch. Very rich and fat on the palate. Beautiful, seamless finish.

97 points - Tasted

Yquem has a unique style that’s not duplicated. Ripe, honeyed pineapple, peach, nectarine, apricot and orange flowers fill the perfume. Rich, concentrated but with enough acidity toe keep it fresh. The long, honey drenched finish is a pleasure and treat.

96 points - Tasted
1988Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)99 pts

This keeps getting better and better. I won't be around when this hits full maturity, whenever that is, but I'm digging it right now. With gobs of honey drenched pineapples, apricots and tropical fruit, the wine is dense. But the acidity cuts right through. The spicy character, opulent mouthfeel and incredible length are something to experience, at least twice, because it's that good.

98 points - Tasted

Holy Frickin' Moleeo.... Is that how you spell that? Who cares? This is stunning juice! The caramel, butterscotch, Cointreau, cooked apricot, honey, molasses, coffee, vanilla and floral aromas are off the charts. Rich, intense, concentrated, bright and bursting with acidity, the wine is the perfect mix of sweetness, freshness, and purity of fruit. The finish takes on a honeyed, ripe and over ripe pineapple sensation that sticks with you for 60 seconds or longer. This wine is a deal sealer.

99 points - Tasted

Chateau d'Yquem is more than the waves of concentrated, perfectly ripe, honeyed, tropical fruit. It's freshness that goes along with the experience, keeping the wine uplifted and expansive. That combination is impossible to find in other sweet wines. Every sniff, sip and taste was a treat. Still young, this intensely concentrated wine should last 100 years!

98 points - Tasted

With a beautiful, yellow, copper, orange, gold hue, the nose screams with loud enough to taste it around the block, with its white peach, pineapple, caramel, creme brulee, apricot, honey, candied orange peel and tropical fruits. Rich, fat, dense and beyond luscious, the wine marries sweetness with blistering acidity, keeping everything lifted, with just the prefect amount of tension. The finish is pure, sweet, fresh and built to age for longer than most people reading this note. I've tasted this wine a lot over the years and this is the best showing yet for this majestic elixir. If you're young enough to wait, this is only going to get better and better with more time.

98 points - Tasted

With an orange glow in its hue, this rich, fat, sweet, intense, flavorful wine serves up layer after layer of pure, honeyed, tropical sweetness. Drink this now, or seal it in a time capsule for your grandchildren.

97 points - Tasted

Honey, flowers, pineapple, apricot, orange and tropical fruits slathered in honey, along with rich textures and mouthful of perfectly ripe, sweet, ripe, honeyed fruit and fruits. This is drinking great today and is only going to get better over the next several decades. This could be favorite vintage of the famous trio, 1988, 1989 and 1990.

98 points - Tasted

With a blast of coconut, pineapple, flowers, spice, orange, apricot and honey drenched, tropical fruit, the wine continues adding complexity. The finish couples decadent honeyed fruit with freshness and acidity.. Thick, rich, dense and incredibly lush, this is sweet hedonism at its best.

98 points - Tasted

Endless aromatics of ripe pineapples, nectarines, peaches, flowers, spices, vanilla, coconut and more all drenched and dripping honey. Wave after wave of luxurious fruit flows across your palate. This wine is incredibly concentrated. Very dense and full bodied with ample acidity keeping everything in balance.

98 points - Tasted
1988Lur-Saluces "Y"  (Bordeaux Supérieur)92 pts

Notes of lemon, flowers with accents of waxy apricots and oranges. Thick with vanilla and tropical fruit on the palate. Long finish

92 points - Tasted
1986Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)97 pts

1986 d’Yquem offers the perfect balance of acidity and sweet, ripe, honeyed tropical fruit. Pineapples, crème brulee, apricots, honey, grilled nuts and vanilla with freshness, sweetness and lift.

96 points - Tasted

Sporting a beautiful hue akin to 24 K Gold! The nose bathed in pineapples, apples, apricots, vanilla, honey and cherry blossoms. Very concentrated, almost dense. The finish was pure silk with an odd chalky sensation. The palate was caressed by a cornucopia of honeyed, tropical fruit. The wine continued improving in the glass. This is too young to drink. Let it rest another 5-10 years before opening.

97 points - Tasted
1983Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)97 pts

The color seemed more developed than previous bottles, with its orange, honey and copper hue. The nose grabs you as soon as the wine hits the glass. Honey coated tropical fruit, pineapple, apricot, vanilla custard and orange marmalade flavors are in full force, culminating with a sweet, spicy, fresh layer of fruits slathered in honey. From a 375, the bottle was popped and poured.

96 points - Tasted

This is a very good Yquem that has approached maturity quicker than expected. However, even with its beautiful, sweet, apricot, caramel and honeyed pineapple charms, it lacks that certain special something found in the best years of this often stunning wine. For the money, you're better off buying 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1990.

94 points - Tasted

Looking slightly older than it should, with its copper, orange hue, the apricot, honey, orange, spice, overripe pineapple and nutty perfume caught your focus with no effort. But this specific bottle seemed a little but shorter than it should be, while lacking the intensity, sweetness and length found in the finish of better bottles. This was a very good Sauternes, but only a nice bottle of 1983 d'Yquem. You know what they say, with age, there are only great bottles, not great wines.

94 points - Tasted

Deep gold in color, this honeyed, pineapple, peach, apricot and crème brulee scented wine delivers the goods. Intense levels of sweet, ripe, fat, lush, tropical fruit easily glide over your palate. The long, decadent finish is truly luxurious. The perfect way to end a splendid evening.

97 points - Tasted
1982Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)92 pts

A beautiful, dark gold hue is the first thing you notice. The orange marmalade, apricot, honey. creme brulee, pineapple and white peach nose, shows a bit more citrus than tropical fruits normally found in Yquem. The finish is there, but the problem is, it's also gone before you know it. It lacks the lingering quality and freshness of the top vintages. Still, this is a nice wine. It's just not a great Yquem.

92 points - Tasted

Medium bodied, and slightly coarse for Chateau d'Yquem, the wine was focused on the orange and tangerine side of the style range. Perhaps, it's a bit disappointing for Yquem overall, but in the context of the vintage, it's fine, as 1982 was much better for red Bordeaux wine. Drink this sooner than later if you have any.

91 points - Tasted
1981Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)91 pts

Spun gold color, pineapple, marzipan, honey, apples, orange rind, smoke, vanilla and nectarine aromas are easy to find. Medium bodied with light sugary flavors of orange and peach, this medium weight, lighter style of d’Yquem is fully mature and should be drunk up sooner than later.

91 points - Tasted
1980Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)94 pts

When expectations are low, it's always a nice surprise when a wine performs much better than expected. This off vintage of d'Yquem offered an attention grabbing perfume filled with ripe apricots, pineapple, honey, vanilla, nectarines, toffee coated nuts and spiced peaches. Ripe, sweet and concentrated with delicious, honey coated tropical fruit in the rich finish, this is probably one of the best deals for a mature bottle of Chateau d'Yquem in the marketplace today. This was my last bottle. A perfect ending to a great case of Sauternes wine.

94 points - Tasted
1979Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)87 pts

This was botrytis light. Golden honey color, nose of apricots, vanilla and guava. Good mouth feel but lacks the weight of a strong vintage. On the palate, some honeyed orange and pineapple notes. A good , fully mature Yquem but certainly not great.

87 points - Tasted
1978Lur-Saluces "Y"  (Bordeaux Supérieur)92 pts

What a nice surprise to see this bottle at a tasting and the surprise got even better when tasting it. The nose offered white peach, honeysuckle, floral, vanilla and cantaloupe scents. Medium bodied, soft, delicate and charming, the only issue was, perhaps it is a bit too short in the finish. This is a great example of a fully mature, dry Sauternes.

92 points - Tasted
1976Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)98 pts

This is a very good d'Yquem that is showing a wealth of secondary characteristics with its caramel, butterscotch, roasted pineapple, apricot, honey and candied orange rind character. However, the wine is slightly better on the nose, than on the luscious, sweet, tropical fruit and honey coated palate. At the end of the day, while good, it lacks the energy, freshness and complexity that is often found in the 1975.

95 points - Tasted

Decadence in a glass. Multiple layers of rich, honeyed, unctuous tropical fruit, vanilla and coconut roar from the pour. The palate enjoys a sexy bath of plush sweetness in this special Bordeaux.

98 points - Tasted
1975Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)100pts

I cannot think of many wines that have displayed this level of consistency. This stunning wine has been perfect on more occasions than I can count. After a night of great wines, time and time again this has been scored as the wine of the night on numerous occasions. With its flashy display of decadent tropical fruits slathered in honey, vanilla, flowers, spice and candied citrus peel, it’s easy to see why. On the palate, the more than :60 finish has the perfect balance of acidity, giving it lift and freshness coupled with dense, ripe, over ripe and extremely ripe tropical fruits. This is the wine to buy, if you can afford it.

100 points - Tasted

Fathers day does not come around enough. As Chateau d'Yquem is my dad's favorite wine, I popped a 1975! With a beautiful golden hue, pineapple upside down cake, caramel, honeysuckle, cinnamon, coffee, orange rind, apricot, smoke, creme brulee and smoke create the complex aromatics. Liquid silk and velvet drenched in honey textures in the mouth lead to a long, fresh, bright, pineapple, apricot, vanilla, cocoa, orangesicle and spice filled finish. While this was a great bottle of 1975 d'Yquem, I've had fresher examples showing more yellow fruit, sweetness and less creme brulee.

97 points - Tasted

1975 Chateau d’Yquem is a contender for the most consistent 100 Pt wine I have ever tasted. Bottle after bottle has been stunning and this 5 Yquem was no exception. With a copper, orange color, honey covered apricots, floral aromas, pineapples, creme brulee, coconut and tropical aromas explode in front of your nose. Viscous, opulent, packed and stacked with endless waves of deep, juicy, spicy, honey drenched fruit, your mouth, teeth and gums are coated with pleasure .Everything is on balance. The perfect amount of acidity keeps the wine, fresh and lively. The seamless finish lasts well over a minute. If you have the money and want to experience Yquem at its best, Kenny Loggins had it right, "This is it!"

100 points - Tasted

With the color of pure, honey, the aromatics can seemingly be experienced from across the room! Apricots, oranges, flowers, roasted pineapples, caramel, grilled nuts all drenched in Acacia honey. Thick, concentrated, rich, lush and opulent fruit coats your mouth, teeth and gums. But its the perfect balance that becomes evident with the lift of acidity that makes this one of the best dessert wines ever produced. The long, honey coated, tropical fruit filled, seamless finish lasts over 60 seconds! This stunning wine is flawless. Perhaps the 2001 will be better. And in 25 years, when that wine begins to enter maturity, we'll find out, But for today, I cannot think of a vintage of Chateau d'Yquem that offers better drinking.

100 points - Tasted

This is the real deal. Incredible levels of sweet, ripe, decadent, complex, rich, honeyed fruit with ample acidity to give it lift. This wine offers intense purity, ripeness and sweetness.

99 points - Tasted
1971Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)95 pts

Probably close to fully mature, the butterscotch, caramel, apricot, orange, honey, custard and pineapple bouquet is more than enticing. Great concentration of flavor, and a sweet, vibrant, honeyed, brown sugar, candied orange rind, honeyed tropical fruit finish that really lingers, seals the deal.

95 points - Tasted
1970Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)93 pts

Orange in color and in fruit, with accents of caramel, butterscotch, grilled nuts, apricots, honey and candied citrus, the wine has freshness and energy, but it lacks the levels of depth and sugar found in the best vintages. This is clearly on the advanced, secondary side of life.

92 points - Tasted

From the first whiff, this copper colored wine makes it easy to find honey, orange, cinnamon, vanilla, toffee, pineapple, nectarine and grilled nut aromas. The wine is full bodied and concentrated, but in the mouth there is a slightly dull quality to the fruit. There is not enough acidity or sweetness to make this wine exciting. The wine is chunky and finishes with honeyed, orange and mango flavors.

90 points - Tasted

The first thing you notice is the beautiful, orange, honey colored hue staring at you from the glass. The perfume, with its intoxicating scents of orange blossoms, honey, caramel and grilled pineapples is a treat. On the palate, the wine is balanced with layers of sweet, honeyed tropical fruit. This could use more concentration. However, any Yquem is always a welcome treat, especially mature bottles.

93 points - Tasted
1967Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)97 pts

A dream wine shared with a friend for his 50th birthday, this did not disappoint. Caramel, butterscotch, candied orange rind, marzipan, overripe pineapple, apricot and tangerine all slathered in honey with some marzipan to boot. Lusciously textured, yet equally fresh and diabolically sweet, the reason Yquem earns its accolades and high price becomes apparent as the wine hits 50 years of age in the best vintages.

97 points - Tasted

If creme caramel, butterscotch, sweet, ripe, tropical fruits, orange, flowers, honey, roasted chestnuts and silky, plush, opulent textures is your thing, this wine is for you. This wine was for me and I loved it! What a stunning beauty. Happy I was able to share it with my father for our end of the year dinner. There was just a bit of wine left in the bottle overnight and it was still going strong. At days before its 50th birthday, this is really delivering the goods.I know it's popular to knock Yquem for its price when measured against its peers. And there is something to that, especially when the wine is young. But when Yquem hits 50, or even older, this is when the magic really happens and the other wines are left behind.

97 points - Tasted

It's always sad when great wines don't deliver, especially when the exalted bottle is pricey as well. I've had great bottles of 1967 d'Yquem before, but not this time. The color was that beautiful, orange, amber, copper hue. The nose, with its butterscotch, creme brulee, orange and sweet aromas seemed more subdued than exuberant. On the palate is where this bottle fell short. While there was good concentration of flavor, this bottle lacked the length and vigor the wine can produce. It's important to always keep in mind with old bottles, each is a unique tasting experience, some are going to be better, while others will be worse the for wear. The no great wines, only great bottles comment works perfectly here.

93 points - Tasted

This was from the chateau so my experience could be better than most bottles in the marketplace. Copper, orange and caramel in color, the wine offers a complex array of carmelized fruits, vanilla, grilled nuts, apricot, pineapple, lemon curd and candied orange rind. Fresh, rich, soft and sweet, this is very good now and I imagine perfectly stored bottles will get even better.

96 points - Tasted

Caramel in color, with an intoxicating nose of smoke, caramel, roasted pineapple, spice, orange rind and burnt sugar. While rich, some of the intense sweetness seems to have faded. The wine is more focused on the caramel and crème brulee, than decadent honeyed fruits. That is not to say this was not wonderful, but it’s not in the same league as the perfect 1975 Chateau d’Yquem. 95

95 points - Tasted

Expresses a stunning cornucopia of caramel, pineapple, apricots, smoke, molasses, honey, coconut, toast and brown sugar nose, this Bordeaux was intoxicating. This was made better by the rich, decadent, seemingly endless, hedonistic mouth feel. The long finish left memories of a honey drenched, tropical fruit filled creme brulee. Paired with a sweet corn risotto and foie gras, this was off the charts! As a comparison, the 67 was better than a recent bottle of 59 D'Yquem, but not as good as the sublime 75 D'Yquem which remains my favorite vintage

97 points - Tasted
1966Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)83 pts

More acid than fruit, more fragrance than flavor, this vintage of Chateau d'Yquem is well past its prime. Unless you're seeking a birth year Sauternes to commemorate a birthday or special occasion, at the prices being asked for this vintage, avoid buying this wine.

83 points - Tasted
1962Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)96 pts

With a beautiful, copper, orange and caramel hue, the apricot, honey, creme brulee, marmalade, caramel and butterscotch aromatics grabbed you. Silky, with perhaps a bit more freshness than sweetness in the mouth, the finish is packed with candied orange, pineapple, creme caramel and candied citrus rind. The wine remained at the same level of quality for hours in the glass.

96 points - Tasted

Molasses, with copper accents in color, with a nose of butterscotch, caramel, apricot, orange, creme brulee and roasted nuts, you know you're in for a treat. The wine is silky, young, spicy, sweet, luscious and delicious. The finish really leaves an impression that you do not want to lose. The wine makes you keep your nose in the glass long after the last sip has been tasted.Yes, Chateau Yquem is expensive, especially when compared to every other Sauternes. Perhaps in its youth, it's hard to know why. But pop a cork on any other 50 year old bottle of sweet, white Bordeaux next to an Yquem and the lights will go off. You'll get it!

96 points - Tasted

Butterscotch, spice, honey, tropical fruit and crème brulee. Rich, sweet, opulent and sensuous, the wine feels great as it flows over your palate with sweet caramel and spicy, tropical fruits. I loved this wine!

96 points - Tasted
1961Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)83 pts

With a beautiful color, slightly discernible scents of flowers, spice, pineapple and crème brulee popped up. Too much acidity and not enough fruit after 50 years made this a wine to open if you have it, but pass on buying it if you don't. Stick to 1961 Red Bordeaux.

83 points - Tasted
1959Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)95 pts

Not the best bottle I've ever tasted of this often stunning wine. With a color and fill that were too advanced for its age, this amber colored wine offered more secondary notes of caramel, butterscotch, buttered popcorn, cooked apricot, candied orange and brioche than luscious honeyed fruit. The sweetness had declined somewhat and there was more noticeable acidity than fruits and honey. The hands of age were strong on this bottle.

93 points - Tasted

Deep caramel in color, with a nose of apricot, orange marmalade, toffee, vanilla, bees wax, brown sugar and honey, the wine has exchanged its previous, vibrant, sweet, honeyed yellow fruits for a creme brulee, lemon peel and brown sugar character. Based on this bottle, I'd drink this sooner than later.

95 points - Tasted
1955Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)97 pts

Darker in color than I would have expected, it was on the deep, dark, amber side of caramel, or mahogany, don't let the color scare you off. The aromatics sizzled with coffee, caramel, butterscotch, nuts buttered tropical fruit and honey. Thick, rich and fat, yes, the wine could have used a bit more freshness, but the finish was long, intense, sweet and packed with flavor. I know d'Yquem is shockingly expensive, but when Yquem just starts to get going, at perhaps 40-50-60 years of age, the other Sauternes are usually left in the dust.

97 points - Tasted
1949Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)94 pts

Honey, burnt orange sugar, apricots, pineapples, vanilla and crème brulee soar from the glass. But, this wine is not produced in the style of modern Yquems. This does not have the nearly the same level of sweetness or viscosity found in the best vintages of the 80’s and 90’s. Perfectly balanced with the right amount of acidity to give it lift.

94 points - Tasted
1945Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)100pts

In color, this almost 70 year old wine sported copper with orange hues. With time, about 30 minutes, candied orange, caramel, burnt sugar, grilled pineapple, honey and nut aromas rose from the glass to create the perfume. Soft, lush and sweet, the wine leaves a rich trail of caramel corn, brioche, roasted orange, spice, butterscotch, grilled pineapple and vanilla sensations on your palate. It does not have the same level of concentration, complexity or exotic texture found in the legendary 1937, but it's close. This was my first time with this vintage. I hope it’s not going to be my last.

100 points - Tasted
1937Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)100pts

Amber in color, the perfume is striking with its crème brulee, orange, caramel, floral, butterscotch, earth, honey, cocoa and hint of chocolate. Concentrated, sweet, fresh, lush, silky and deep, the wine is rich, sweet, long and still delivering its voluptuous goods at close to 80 years of age. The finish keeps on going. Amazingly, 3 days later, the empty bottle was still serving up the same intoxicating nose.

97 points - Tasted

With a deep copper hue, the aromatics are explosive! Chocolate, coffee, crème brulee, orange, caramel, flowers, spice, butterscotch, earth and cocoa are revealed. Silky, velvet drenched layers of orange coated with cocoa and chocolate remain on the palate for well over 60 seconds. Chateau d’Yquem is expensive and some consumers feel when compared to other Sauternes, Chateau d’Yquem is not worth the difference in price. That is because they have never experienced a fully mature vintage of Chateau d’Yquem. At 75 years of age, this wine is still going to improve for another 25-50 or even 75 more years!

100 points - Tasted
1928Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)98 pts

Mahogany in color, the combination of chocolate covered orange, creme de caramel, butterscotch, caramel, dried apricot and green apple pie blows you away. Pure silk in texture, the wine cascades over your palate, drenching your senses for over 60 seconds. Lacking the same level of freshness found in the 37, or 45, this is still about as good as a wine gets. Utterly profound, the wine was effortless to drink. Young, tasters do not often get the different between Yquem and other Sauternes, especially when price is a factor. But as the wine gets more than 50 years of age, it blossoms into one of the world's great tasting experiences.

98 points - Tasted
1890Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)70 pts

Now, this is a bottle you do not see everyday. Carmel in color, the flavors and aromas were focused on burnt sugar, toast, carmel, butterscotch and just a faint whiff of honey. Not much fruit remained. The sugar seems to have gone in the same direction of the fruit as it was mostly gone as well. Still, it was a thrill to hold wine in my glass that was from before the turn of the century. Ooops, make that from before the turn of the century before that!

70 points - Tasted