2010 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend

Sauternes Blend - 750ML
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REVIEWS

JG 98 TWI 98 WE 98 JS 97 JL 97 WS 97 WA 95
JG 98

View From The Cellar, March 2011

98+ The 2010 Château d’Yquem is an utterly stunning young wine and a very worthy follow-up to the magical wine produced at this estate in 2009. The bouquet is deep, complex and flat out brilliant, as it soars from the...
TWI 98

The Wine Independent, September 2023

A blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc, with 138 grams per liter of residual sugar, the 2010 Yquem has a pale to medium straw-gold color. After considerable aeration, it erupts from the glass with a powerhouse of...
WE 98

Wine Enthusiast, June 2011

(96-98 points) Stunningly rich in character, a wine with great power to go with its acidity and sweetness. It is dense, powerful and concentrated powered by honey and by spice from the wood. The finish has dried apricots...
JS 97

jamessuckling.com, November 2013

The purity of Botrytis in this wine is so impressive with dried fruits such apple and mango. And then spicy character. Full body and very sweet but it is incredibly fresh and lively. Such class and elegance. Perfectly...
JL 97

TheWineCellarInsider.com, November 2018

Richly textured, with layers of fat, sweet, ripe and overripe orange hued tropical fruits, pineapples, mango, white peach and apricot, all slathered in honey and tinged with vanilla. Tightly wound at the moment, there is...
WS 97

Wine Spectator, January 2014

A pure, racy, floral style, with bright white peach, heather and honeysuckle notes driving along. The core of fresh orchard fruit is unctuous, the finish long and lacy, with marvelous cut and finesse. This shows the...
WA 95

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, October 2023

Exhibiting notions of saffron, pineapple, apricot, exotic fruits and spices, the 2010 d'Yquem is full-bodied, broad and enveloping, perfectly balanced with controlled power and a deep, fleshy core of fruit enhanced by...

WINE DETAILS

Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 2010
Size 750ML
Percent alcohol 13.5%
Closure Cork

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.

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.

The 2010 Chateau d'Yquem is a remarkable Sauternes blend from the Bordeaux region of France. This vintage comprises 87% Semillon and 13% Sauvignon Blanc, aged in 100% new oak barrels. The wine is characterized by an alcohol content of 13.5%.

Esteemed reviewers consistently praise the 2010 Chateau d'Yquem for its complexity and aging potential. James Suckling of jamessuckling.com awarded it a score of 97, highlighting the "purity of Botrytis" and describing it as "full body and very sweet but incredibly fresh and lively." Suckling noted its "class and elegance," emphasizing its "delicacy and intensity" and suggesting it be enjoyed starting in 2018.

Geoffrey Binder from JJ Buckley gave an even higher score of 98, emphasizing the wine's structure and texture. He noted that the wine is "tight and slightly muted on both the nose and palate but in no way lacking character," with flavors of "banana, coconut crème, and tightly wound citrus." Binder advised that this wine is built for long-term cellaring and should be enjoyed through 2040.

Wine Spectator's review, also scoring the wine at 97, praised its "pure, racy, floral style" and a core of "fresh orchard fruit." The review highlighted the wine's "long and lacy" finish, noting its balance and elegance, which are indicative of a "cooler year with a longer harvest period."

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, through Yohan Castaing, awarded the wine a 95, citing its "notions of saffron, pineapple, apricot, exotic fruits, and spices." The review described the wine as "full-bodied, broad and enveloping," with a "deep, fleshy core of fruit enhanced by bright acids." Despite a slight touch of volatile acidity, the wine has "stunning aging potential."

John Gilman from View From The Cellar gave a score of 98+, calling it an "utterly stunning young wine" with a bouquet that is "deep, complex and flat-out brilliant." He noted the wine's "surreal length and grip" and predicted it would be as profound as the 2009 vintage.

Wine Enthusiast also scored it 98, describing it as "stunningly rich in character" with "great power to go with its acidity and sweetness." The finish is noted for its "dried apricots" and strong aromatic presence.

Jeff Leve of TheWineCellarInsider.com and The Wine Independent's Lisa Perrotti-Brown both echoed these sentiments with scores of 97 and 98, respectively. Leve described the wine as "richly textured" with ample acidity, while Perrotti-Brown noted its "flamboyant notes of crystalized ginger, honeydew melon, mango pudding, and lime leaves."

In summary, the 2010 Chateau d'Yquem is a highly acclaimed Sauternes blend that showcases elegance, complexity, and significant aging potential. Its diverse flavor profile and balanced structure make it a standout wine, worthy of patience to fully appreciate its depth and richness.