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Professional Ratings: 98 The Wine Advocate, 96 Wine Enthusiast, 95 International Wine Cellar, 91 Wine Spectator
Region: Sauternes and Barsac, Bordeaux, France
Varietal: Other Dessert
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Item no. 103636
Discovering Chateau d'Yquem starts with the bouquet. Although not always very outgoing in young vintages, it is marked by fruit (apricot, mandarin, and occasionally tropical fruit) and oak (vanilla and toast aromas). Older vintages, on the other hand, have an extradordinarily complex fragrance as soon as the bottle is opened.
The bouquet is amazingly subtle, with hints of dried fruit (dried apricot, prune, stewed fruit, and marmalade), spice (cinnamon, saffron, and liquorice), and even flowers (linden blosson, etc).
The first impression of Chateau d'Yquem on the palate is always silky, and often sumptuous. It then fills out, "coating the palate". This wine has a strong, but never overbearing character, with great elegance and poise. It always maintains a balance between sugar and acidity (sweetness and freshness).
While no surprise here, this wine, which will be bottled in 2009, is certainly this estate's greatest effort since their 2001. It completely outclasses everything from the appellation, but even when you're number one, that's often hard to do. This light gold wine offers up a sensational smorgasbord of aromas including huge honeyed pineapple and other caramelized tropical fruit flavors, massive richness, and a viscous, unctuous texture with the oak beautifully integrated. The wine has enough acidity to buttress its full-bodied mouthfeel, but this is not by any means the sweetest or most alcoholic of the d’Yquems I have tasted. In fact, in the range of d’Yquems, this is a powerful wine, but it is one built more on finesse and elegance, a la the 1988. Nevertheless, this wine will prove to have 50+ years of longevity. The finish, the mid-palate, the sensation of looking at a skyscraper of Semillon with a small dosage of Sauvignon, is impressive. Like all of the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes, one can drink this young, but the nuances and complexities really don't emerge for at least a decade, especially in the case of a wine such as this. Bravo! Range: 96-98+
This is the rich wine of the vintage. With its intensen fruit, piles of spice, but excellent balance, this promises flavors of baked apples and intense dried fruits. The botrytis layer is discreet, a hint rather than overpowering.
Barrel Sample: 94-96 Points
Medium bright yellow, quite pale for 2006. Wonderfully fresh aromas of pineapple, coconut, caramel, vanilla and spices lifted by a floral element. Silky on entry, then dense but almost magically light on its feet, thanks to penetrating acidity that gives sharp definition to the tight, impressively concentrated lemon, pineapple and coconut flavors. Racy rather than thick, and almost painfully young today. Finishes with a captivating note of beurre sale A wonderfully pure and refined wine for 2006, but this really needs time in bottle to knit.
This has turned creamy, with peach, apricot and tangerine notes caressed by heather honey and picking up a tangy green tea note on the finish. Long and very stylish. Drink now through 2012.