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Professional Ratings: 99 Wine Spectator, 98 International Wine Cellar, 98 James Suckling, 97 The Wine Advocate, 97 Wine Enthusiast
Region: Sauternes and Barsac, Bordeaux, France
Varietal: Other Dessert
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Item no. 127075
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 toasty aromas). Older vintages, on the other hand, have an extraordinarily 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 licorice), and even flowers (linden blossom, etc.). The first impression on the palate is always very silky, and often sumptuous. It then fills out, "coating the palate." This fine 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).
A lovely, creamy, tropical style, with mango, papaya and guava notes lending a caressing feel, while singed almond and warm piecrust accents blossom through the lush finish. Just when you think that's all there is, toasted coconut, fig, orange blossom and persimmon details kick in, lending length and dimension. The finish is ridiculously long. Best from 2020 through 2060.
Luminous golden yellow. Cool, pure aromas of white peach, honeyed mango, guava nectar, white flowers and saffron are complicated by elements of crushed stone and spicy lemony botrytis. Suave and intensely flavored, with mineral-spiced apple, mango, passion fruit and grapefruit flavors offering outstanding purity, precision, and depth. The brisk but harmonious acidity gives this great Sauternes a penetrating quality and provides a powerful spine to the very deep flavors, making it seem less opulent than it really is. This Yquem has the depth of the 2007 but boasts even greater purity and focus. Finishes bright and extremely long, with repeating suggestions of white flowers and lemony botrytis. Though it lacks the depth of the 2001 or the opulence of the 2009 at a similar stage of development, this is one of my favorite young Yquems ever: it will age spectacularly well.
Crazy minerality to this, with lots of dried mango, pineapple and papaya on the nose. Botrytis-spice and nutmeg undertones. Full body, very sweet, with superb depth of fruit and richness. It goes on for minutes. Turns dense and concentrated on the palate. Speechless. Better in 2019.
The 2011 d'Yquem seems to be a close cousin of the 2001 and possibly the 1988. Light gold in color, restrained but pure and noble, it offers an intense bouquet of honeysuckle, caramelized apricot and white peach with a subtle hint of toasty oak. It builds slowly but beautifully to a full-bodied wine with a long finish. This vintage is about restraint and perfect balance despite the 144 grams of residual sugar. Some vintages are more exuberant or flamboyant, but 2011 is racy and compelling. Of course, these wines can be drunk young, but expect the 2011 to age for 50-75+ years in a good cellar.
Rich, with intense flavors of botrytis, lemon and Seville orange peel. This wine has both freshness and sweetness, with a light touch.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points