2017 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend

Sauternes Blend - 9L
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JS 99 JL 99 TWI 98 WA 97 VN 97 WS 96 DC 95
JS 99

jamessuckling.com, January 2020

This is a great Yquem, delivering thrilling purity and intensity. The nose offers intense aromas of fresh and dried apricot and peach pastry, as well as freshly baked creme brulee, candied and fresh orange and kumquat...
JL 99

TheWineCellarInsider.com, February 2021

Clearly one of the great vintages of d'Yquem of all time, this stunner is off the hook from the initial sniff. Roasted apricots, overripe pineapple, vanilla, mango, marzipan and creme caramel all topped with honey keeps...
TWI 98

The Wine Independent, September 2023

(98+ points) A blend of 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, with 148 grams per liter of residual sugar and a pH of 3.8, the 2017 Yquem has a pale lemon-gold color. It is a little shy to begin, featuring delicate scents...
WA 97

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, October 2023

The 2017 d'Yquem is simply stunning, evoking both a minty and fresh bouquet with aromas of apricot, baked pear, saffron, honeycomb and flowers. Full-bodied, rich and seamless, it’s perfectly balanced with a beautiful...
VN 97

Vinous, April 2022

The 2017 Yquem is destined to be one of my favourite recent vintages. It has brilliant delineation on the nose with acacia honey, saffron, white flowers and a subtle crushed stone element. So much energy is palpable. The...
WS 96

Wine Spectator, March 2020

Very flattering and unctuous in feel, with coconut, creamed papaya, toasted hazelnut and warmed peach and tangerine cream flavors gliding along in unison, all framed by warm brioche and piecrust notes on the finish...
DC 95

Decanter, February 2022

Still very youthful with light golden colours, showing flashes of green in the glass. Intensely aromatic with tropical fruit notes, pineapple, roasted apricot, honey and lime zest. Full-bodied and rich on the palate with...


Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 2017
Size 9L
Percent alcohol 14.5%
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.

![2017 Chateau d'Yquem](https://www.jjbuckley.com/permalink/bottle/image/2017-112-9000)

The 2017 Chateau d'Yquem is a Sauternes Blend hailing from the Bordeaux region of France, specifically the Sauternes sub-region. This white wine, produced by Chateau d’Yquem, is notable for its high residual sugar content of 148 grams per liter and an alcohol percentage of 14.5%. The blend consists of 75% Sémillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, sealed with a traditional cork closure.

Professional reviewers have lauded the 2017 vintage with near-universal acclaim. James Suckling awarded it a near-perfect score of 99, describing it as "a great Yquem, delivering thrilling purity and intensity." He highlighted its "smooth, glossy texture with flavors of grilled orange, dried apricot, and an exceptionally long finish." Suckling also noted the influence of noble rot due to September rains, which contributed to the wine's depth and character.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate also gave it a high score of 97, praising its "minty and fresh bouquet with aromas of apricot, baked pear, saffron, honeycomb, and flowers." Reviewer Yohan Castaing emphasized its "beautiful bittersweet mid-palate and a long, endless finish," making it a balanced and seamless wine.

Vinous's Neal Martin echoed this sentiment, giving it another 97, and noted its "brilliant delineation on the nose with acacia honey, saffron, white flowers, and a subtle crushed stone element." Martin found it to be "supremely well balanced, surfeit with energy, spicy and feisty."

Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider was particularly enthusiastic, bestowing it with a score of 99 and declaring it "one of the great vintages of d'Yquem of all time." He described the wine's richness and intensity as "off the hook," with layers of "honey-slathered tropical fruits, vanilla, and apricot."

Decanter rated the wine 95, appreciating its "intensely aromatic" profile with notes of "tropical fruit, pineapple, roasted apricot, honey, and lime zest." They found it youthful, full-bodied, and rich, yet balanced by refreshing acidity.

Wine Spectator scored it 96, highlighting its "very flattering and unctuous" feel with flavors of "coconut, creamed papaya, toasted hazelnut, and warmed peach and tangerine cream." They recommended enjoying it best from 2025 through 2045.

Finally, The Wine Independent awarded it 98+, with Lisa Perrotti-Brown noting its "pale lemon-gold color" and "profound core of apricots, fresh Bosc pears, and blanched almonds." She described the wine as "full-on unctuous" with "epic length and amazing depth."

Overall, the 2017 Chateau d'Yquem is celebrated for its complexity, balance, and exceptional aging potential, making it a standout vintage in the storied history of this esteemed producer.