1989 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend
Sauternes Blend - 375ML
  • WA 97
  • WS 97
  • IWC 97
  • JR 96

$269.94

This product is
out of stock

$269.94

This product is
out of stock

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WA 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, January 1998
The favorite sweet wine of millionaires Chateau d'Yquem has not unexpectedly turned in a brilliant effort with their newly released 1989. It is a large-scaled massively rich unctuously-textured wine that should evolve... The favorite sweet wine of millionaires Chateau d'Yquem has not unexpectedly turned in a brilliant effort with their newly released 1989. It is a large-scaled massively rich unctuously-textured wine that should evolve effortlessly for a half century or more. It does not reveal the compelling finesse and complexity of the 1988 or 1986 but it is a far heavier richer wine than either of those vintages. It is reminiscent of the 1976 with additional fat and glycerin. The wine is extremely alcoholic and rich with a huge nose of smoky honey-covered coconuts and overripe pineapples and apricots. As with most young vintages of Yquem the wine's structure is barely noticeable. These wines are so highly extracted and rich yet approachable young it is difficult to believe they will last for 50 or more years. The 1989 is the richest Yquem made in the eighties and it has an edge in complexity over the powerhouse 1983. It remains to be seen whether this wine will develop the extraordinary aromatic complexity possessed by the promising 1988 and 1986 Yquems. Last tasted 11/97</P>
WS 97
Wine Spectator, May 1999
Very classy and beautiful packed with botrityzed flavors. Marvelous blend of vanilla cream tobacco-box notes with a lot of oak on it for now but also loads of pure clean and elegant fruit. An infant that will age for a... Very classy and beautiful packed with botrityzed flavors. Marvelous blend of vanilla cream tobacco-box notes with a lot of oak on it for now but also loads of pure clean and elegant fruit. An infant that will age for a long time.--Yquem vertical. Best after 2020. (PM)
IWC 97
Stephen Tanzer's IWC, July 1998
Laid-back extremely young aromas of honey creme caramel smoke and earth; essence of semillon. Rich large-scaled and powerful; really expands in the mouth. Lovely harmonious acidity and bright notes of orange peel and... Laid-back extremely young aromas of honey creme caramel smoke and earth; essence of semillon. Rich large-scaled and powerful; really expands in the mouth. Lovely harmonious acidity and bright notes of orange peel and minerals give this very youthful wine great clarity of flavor. Classy and impeccably balanced. The subtle oak-spicy nutty finish goes on and on. Conveys an almost saline impression of extract...
JR 96
Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages, May 2014
Very rich and hedonistic. Full throttle and with so much sweetness plus an almond overlay. Very long and tingly. Just gorgeous. Long. Pungent and powerful. Stunning. 19/20
Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 1989

Label

Chateau d’Yquem holds just under 300 acres of vineyard land on gravelly, well-drained soil, but only uses about 250 to make wine in any given year. The remainder is due to a program of continual replanting which ensures that producing vines are always in their prime. And the vineyard is planted only to Semillion (75%) and Sauvignon Blanc (25%), eschewing Muscadelle which is commonly used in the area but makes less distinguished wine.

Within an hour of harvest, the grapes of Chateau d’Yquem are in the winery and being pressed. Unlike most white wines, quality actually improves with multiple pressings as that extracts more sugar and flavor intensity. Chateau d’Yquem three or four times, with the initial effort yielding about 75% of the total volume.

Chateau d’Yquem does all its fermentation in new French oak barrels. This is unsual for Sauternes, but results in the most flavorful and pristine wine. Although there is variation from one vintage to the next, the typical Chateau d’Yquem wine finishes fermentation at 13.5% alcohol with 150 grams/liter of sugar.

All the barrels age for six to eight months after fermentation. At that point, under-performing barrels are set aside. The remaining barrels go to the aging cellar for 20 months, where they are topped up twice weekly to maintain freshness. For pure flavors and clarity, the wines are also racked 15 times and then fined before the final, blind tasting which determines the blend that will go into bottle.

Although not always very outgoing when young, Chateau d’Yquem 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, with hints of dried fruit (dried apricot, prune, stewed fruit, and marmalade), spice (cinnamon, saffron, and liquorice), and even flowers (lime blossom, etc.). The first impression of Chateau d'Yquem 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 touch of bitterness can also contribute to the overall harmony.

Winery

Chateau d'Yquem

Sauternes is the best and most sought-after region for dessert wine in Bordeaux, perhaps in all of France. Chateau d’Yquem is the most celebrated of all Sauternes producers.

The history of d’Yquem can be traced back to 1593, when local nobleman Jacques Sauvage became the feudal overseer of the property. The area was already home to late-harvest wines even then, and the Sauvage family moved things forward, creating “modern” vineyards—and the famous chateau—on the unique hill that contributes to d’Yquem’s outstanding quality. In 1711, the Sauvage family became full owners of the property and managed to retain it through the French Revolution.

The quality and reputation of Chateau d’Yquem wine improved as the vineyard was methodically expanded and enhanced. By the late 18th century, it was celebrated internationally and counted Thomas Jefferson among its staunch supporters. But the house continued to innovate and better its practices. The constructed a large, purpose-built cellar for maturation and aging in 1826 and, not long after, began harvesting in multiple passes to optimize fruit quality. This work was rewarded when Chateau d’Yquem was designated the only 1er Cru Superieur dessert wine in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines.