2003 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Bordeaux France Wine Tasting Note

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2003
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The complex nose shoots from the glass with buttered apricots, pineapple, ginger, saffron, candied orange, vanilla, and caramel. The palate is equal to the perfume with its rich, creamy, layered, opulent display of apricots, honeyed pineapple, spice, vanilla, and ginger that soothes, coats, and lingers on your palate. While the is incredibly rich, it is not fat, or cloying, but it is intense. This will age for decades. Drink from 2023-2053.

The complex nose shoots from the glass with buttered apricots, pineapple, ginger, saffron, candied orange, vanilla, and caramel. The palate is equal to the perfume with its rich, creamy, layered, opulent display of apricots, honeyed pineapple, spice, vanilla, and ginger that soothes, coats, and lingers on your palate. While the is incredibly rich, it is not fat, or cloying, but it is intense. This will age for decades. Drink from 2023-2053.

2,944 Views   Tasted
Consistently, this is a beautiful Sauternes. Fat, but not cloying, the notes of buttered pineapple, apricots, candied orange rind, caramel, butterscotch and flowers come through easily. Rich, concentrated but with energy and lift, this luscious treat continues getting better and better.

Consistently, this is a beautiful Sauternes. Fat, but not cloying, the notes of buttered pineapple, apricots, candied orange rind, caramel, butterscotch and flowers come through easily. Rich, concentrated but with energy and lift, this luscious treat continues getting better and better.

5,273 Views   Tasted
Rich, fat, unctuous, sweet and complex, while still an infant, the wine already shows off its creme brulee, molasses, butterscotch, orange rind, melted butter, cinnamon cloves, almonds and overripe apricots, pineapple and vanilla easily. There is a lot of volume here. The wine is hedonistic, palate-coating and frankly irresistible. Drink now, or in 10-20 or 30 years.

Rich, fat, unctuous, sweet and complex, while still an infant, the wine already shows off its creme brulee, molasses, butterscotch, orange rind, melted butter, cinnamon cloves, almonds and overripe apricots, pineapple and vanilla easily. There is a lot of volume here. The wine is hedonistic, palate-coating and frankly irresistible. Drink now, or in 10-20 or 30 years.

7,248 Views   Tasted
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.

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.

4,999 Views   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.

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.

7,035 Views   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.

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.

6,300 Views   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.

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.

11,639 Views   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.

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.

7,833 Views   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.

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.

4,126 Views   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.

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.

4,377 Views   Tasted

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, the 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 on 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.

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.

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.

When harvesting for Ygrec, the vines and grapes are chosen prior to harvest. However, while one bunch of Sauvignon Blanc on the vine is designated for Ygrec, the remaining bunch can be used for d'Yquem, if the necessary amount of noble rot develops.

For the Semillon used in Ygrec, the grapes are harvested just prior to the full development of noble rot.

Close to 80% of the parcels used to produce their dry white wine can change from vintage to vintage.

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 production. However starting with 2005, Ygrec has been made in every vintage. Today, slightly less than 1,000 cases are produced of "Y" each year.

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 steel 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 unwanted grapes or wine.

While the estate strives to make vintages 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.

www.yquem.fr