2002 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend
Sauternes Blend - 750ML
  • WS 96
  • NM 95
  • WA 93
  • JR 93

Reg: $287.94

$273.94

This product is
out of stock

Reg: $287.94

$273.94

This product is
out of stock

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WS 96
Wine Spectator - Wine Spectator, July 2006
Beautiful apple vanilla and honey aromas with just the right amount of new wood. Full-bodied medium sweet with lots of pretty pineapple honey and new wood. Long and refined. A beautifully silky and balanced Sauternes... Beautiful apple vanilla and honey aromas with just the right amount of new wood. Full-bodied medium sweet with lots of pretty pineapple honey and new wood. Long and refined. A beautifully silky and balanced Sauternes. Lots of intensity and well-knit. Nothing comes close in this vintage. Best after 2009. (JS)
NM 95
Neal Martin's Wine Journal - Neal Martin's Wine Journal, April 2008
The quality of the Yquem 2002 vis-à-vis the ensuing two vintages really surprised me: this is a superb Sauternes coming in with 125 gms/L residual. It has a wonderful lifted nose with superb delineation and sense of... The quality of the Yquem 2002 vis-à-vis the ensuing two vintages really surprised me: this is a superb Sauternes coming in with 125 gms/L residual. It has a wonderful lifted nose with superb delineation and sense of minerality with hints of coconut roasted almond limestone and nougat. Very harmonious on the palate a greater sense of completeness compared to the 2003 and 2004. Vibrant acidity and focus with a smooth honeyed finish that I find utterly seductive. Bon vin!
WA 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, June 2014
Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 2002 Chateau d’Yquem has a delightful bouquet with scents of dried honey, marzipan and melted candle wax. It is not the most complex, but it has very good definition. The palate has a... Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 2002 Chateau d’Yquem has a delightful bouquet with scents of dried honey, marzipan and melted candle wax. It is not the most complex, but it has very good definition. The palate has a controlled, linear opening with fine acidity and a tightly wound spicy core. This 2002 has a slight bitter edge which lends it race and tension. However, there is a touch of austerity here, as if it is holding something back. You might describe this as a serviceable Yquem: everything in its right place, but refusing to let go. This is aYquem sans the ambition of other vintages and yet delicious all the same. Drink now-2035. Tasted March 2014. - NEAL MARTIN
JR 93
Jancis Robinson - Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages, March 2006
Young Sauternes often reminds me of pear juice and this wine, tasted from a half bottle just couriered from Bordeaux, was like nothing more than the healthiest, cleanest pear juice. Pale gold with a slightly greener tinge... Young Sauternes often reminds me of pear juice and this wine, tasted from a half bottle just couriered from Bordeaux, was like nothing more than the healthiest, cleanest pear juice. Pale gold with a slightly greener tinge than most young Yquem. Very fresh, long and deep-flavoured this wine has that ingredient X that Yquem always seems to manage, but this is certainly not one of the sweetest or most intense Yquems. It is certainly greater than any other 2002 sweet white bordeaux I remember tasting, with the strongly possible exception of Climens, but is almost spookily open for a recently-bottled Yquem. There’s the merest hint of astringency on the finish still but this wine could be enjoyed in its relatively simple youth. 18/20
Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 2002

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.