2017 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend
Sauternes Blend - 6L
  • WA 99
  • JS 99
  • JL 99
  • VN 97
  • DC 96

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WA 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, April 2018
(97-99 points) There was no frost at d’Yquem in 2017, and botrytis was very regular and even this vintage. The nose opens with very pure notes of freshly sliced oranges, yuzu and lemon barley water with hints of white... (97-99 points) There was no frost at d’Yquem in 2017, and botrytis was very regular and even this vintage. The nose opens with very pure notes of freshly sliced oranges, yuzu and lemon barley water with hints of white pepper, fresh ginger and lime cordial. The incredibly rich, unctuous sweetness (148 grams per liter of residual sugar) is beautifully marbled with bright, vivacious citrus fruit and spice flavors, while lifted by well-knit freshness, and it finishes with epic length and great depth. - LPB
JS 99
jamessuckling.com, April 2018
(98-99 points) The tannins and phenolic tension are very impressive to this. Dried-lemon undertones and burning botrytis. Full-to medium-bodied, linear and racy. Beautiful fruit and intensity. Such clarity. Extreme but... (98-99 points) The tannins and phenolic tension are very impressive to this. Dried-lemon undertones and burning botrytis. Full-to medium-bodied, linear and racy. Beautiful fruit and intensity. Such clarity. Extreme but wonderful style.
JL 99
TheWineCellarInsider.com, November 2018
Crisp notes of vanilla, marzipan, pineapple, mango, orange rind, flowers, and candied apricot are right there, as soon as wine the moves from the bottle to your glass. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, fresh, sweet... Crisp notes of vanilla, marzipan, pineapple, mango, orange rind, flowers, and candied apricot are right there, as soon as wine the moves from the bottle to your glass. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, fresh, sweet, ripe and zippy. There is length, purity and precision. The lingering pineapple, apricot and sweet, lemon curd on your palate gets life from the jolt of racy acidity that runs down the middle. This is a top vintage for Chateau d'Yquem that is defined by its vibrant, freshness. What made 2017 so good, is the speed in which the sugar levels reached maximum potential. The harvest took place September 26 - October 13. The wine was made from blending 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, reaching 13.6% with sugars hitting 48 G/L. The Grand Vin was made from 40% of the harvest. Read more at:https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/wine-tasting-note/?vintage=2017&wine=Chateau%20d%27Yquem
VN 97
Vinous, May 2018
(95-97 points) The 2017 Yquem, which was not affected by frost, was picked in two tries from 26 to 29 September and 5 to 10 October. There is 148gm/L residual sugar and a 3.8 pH, alcohol coming in at 13.9°. The early... (95-97 points) The 2017 Yquem, which was not affected by frost, was picked in two tries from 26 to 29 September and 5 to 10 October. There is 148gm/L residual sugar and a 3.8 pH, alcohol coming in at 13.9°. The early September rain prompted homogenous pourriture noble and this was followed by a warm period that meant that concentration came rapidly. They focused on the best parts of the property, discarding 30% of the parcels. It has a very harmonious bouquet with white peaches, orange sorbet, white flowers and a touch of crushed stone. It has an “airy” nose that gathers pace with aeration. The palate is very fresh in the mouth with slightly less weight and concentration than the 2015 tasted alongside. There are subtle spicy veins interwoven through the final third with hints of freshly shaved ginger that add another dimension towards the finish. This might not be up there with the top tier of Yquem’s over the last century, however, it is clearly a very well-crafted and complex Sauternes that will last many years. -- Neal Martin
DC 96
Decanter, April 2018
To overcome the gap between the dry white harvest (16-25 August, even earlier than in 2003) and the noble rot harvest (20 September to 14 October), the team began by picking their best plots on the cooler clay terroirs to... To overcome the gap between the dry white harvest (16-25 August, even earlier than in 2003) and the noble rot harvest (20 September to 14 October), the team began by picking their best plots on the cooler clay terroirs to ensure maximum freshness. They have expertly managed to retain a beautiful focus, showing pared back but fleshy white peach and pear notes, saffron, white pepper, subtle gunsmoke and slate, followed by a fantastic kick of ginger through the mid palate and beyond. There was no frost impact here, but they were still very strict in the blending, using just 45% of their 17hl/ha crop. This wine has a fairly high 148g/l of residual sugar, with TA6 and 3.8pH (compared to 3.65pH in 2015). They expect to carry out long oak ageing to add structure and to balance the sugars. Expect 80,000 bottles of Yquem. (Drink between 2020-2042)
Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 2017

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.