2015 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend

Sauternes Blend - 9L
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WA 100 DC 99 JS 99 JA 98 JL 98 WE 98 WS 98 VN 94
WA 100

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, April 2018

Following a very long harvest stretching nearly two months, the 2015 Château d'Yquem came in at 13.9% alcohol and 144 grams per liter of residual sugar, sporting a pH of 3.65 and six grams per liter of tartaric acid. None...
DC 99

Decanter, November 2019

A profound, memorable Yquem that has huge intensity and concentration, amazing purity and crystalline fruits, and an impeccable balance between sweetness, acidity and structure. Despite its power, it can be enjoyed now...
JS 99

jamessuckling.com, January 2019

This is a very powerful yet at the same time bright and dry d’Yquem. Full-bodied, sweet yet phenolic and layered. Love the combination between tannin and sweetness. The purity and beauty are incredible; it’s the freshness...
JA 98

janeanson.com, June 2022

Sharp-sweet marmalade orange peel flavours. Utterly spellbinding, stretching out through the palate, mint leaf and white truffle on the finish. The higher Sémillon than in the 2019 comes through in the luxurious texture...
JL 98

TheWineCellarInsider.com, September 2023

What a beautiful wine from start to finish. The perfume with its pineapple, butter, vanilla, flower, ginger, apricot, and honey nose connects with your senses. The wine is concentrated, lush, opulent, and powerful, with...
WE 98

Wine Enthusiast, March 2018

Fresh-cut orange, peach and nectarine notes lead the way, followed by lightly singed almond and warm piecrust notes. Then another wave of green fig, warmed pear and coconut takes over on the finish. Rich and honeyed in...
WS 98

Wine Spectator, January 2018

Fresh-cut orange, peach and nectarine notes lead the way, followed by lightly singed almond and warm piecrust notes. Then another wave of green fig, warmed pear and coconut takes over on the finish. Rich and honeyed...
VN 94

Vinous, April 2022

The 2015 Yquem has always been a vintage that I have approached with caution. It was a very early harvest that began on 3 September and finished on 21 October after temperatures fell during the picking. As usual, I have...


Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 2015
Size 9L
Percent alcohol 14%
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 2015 Chateau d'Yquem is a truly exceptional wine that embodies the essence of Sauternes. With its bright, golden color and luxurious texture, this white wine is a masterpiece. Produced by the esteemed Chateau d'Yquem in the Bordeaux region of France, it showcases the artistry and expertise of this renowned producer.

On the nose, the 2015 Chateau d'Yquem entices with a captivating bouquet of ripe pineapples, green mango, orange blossoms, and lemon tart. Hints of fungi, lime zest, crushed rocks, and jasmine add complexity and intrigue. This wine is a sensory delight, with each aroma seamlessly blending together.

The palate of this wine is a revelation. It is full-bodied, sweet yet phenolic, and layered with flavors that captivate the senses. The combination of tannin and sweetness is harmonious, creating a wine that is both powerful and balanced. The purity and beauty of the 2015 Chateau d'Yquem are simply incredible. It is the freshness and lightness that make this wine truly exceptional, while the depth and richness are undeniable.

Renowned wine critic James Suckling awarded this wine an impressive score of 99 points. He describes it as powerful, bright, dry, and layered. Similarly, Wine Enthusiast awarded it 98 points, praising its fresh-cut orange, peach, and nectarine notes, as well as its rich and honeyed feel.

The 2015 Chateau d'Yquem is a wine that will age gracefully for decades to come. It has the potential to be enjoyed well into the next century. With its impeccable balance between sweetness, acidity, and structure, this wine is a true masterpiece. Whether you choose to savor it now or cellar it for the future, the 2015 Chateau d'Yquem is a wine that will leave a lasting impression.