2017 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend

Sauternes Blend - 9L
Reg: $5,750.00
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JS 99 JL 99 WA 99 VN 97 DC 96 WS 96
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, 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...


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.

The 2017 Chateau d'Yquem is a truly exceptional wine that showcases the best of Sauternes blend from Bordeaux, France. With its stunning golden hue, this white wine immediately captivates the eye and sets the stage for the sensory journey to come.

On the nose, the 2017 Chateau d'Yquem offers an enticing bouquet of freshly sliced oranges, yuzu, and lemon barley water. Hints of white pepper, fresh ginger, and lime cordial add complexity and intrigue. The absence of frost during the growing season allowed for regular and even botrytis, resulting in a nose that is pure and vibrant.

Upon the first sip, the unctuous sweetness of this wine is immediately apparent. With an impressive 148 grams per liter of residual sugar, it is beautifully balanced by the bright and vivacious citrus fruit and spice flavors. The palate is lifted by well-knit freshness, creating a harmonious and exquisite experience. The finish is nothing short of epic, with remarkable length and great depth that lingers on the palate.

Renowned wine critic Robert Parker's Wine Advocate awarded the 2017 Chateau d'Yquem an impressive score of 99 points, praising its marbled sweetness and well-integrated citrus fruit and spice flavors. Vinous also lauded this vintage, with a score of 97 points, highlighting its brilliant delineation and energy. James Suckling was similarly impressed, awarding it a score of 99 points and describing it as a wine of thrilling purity and intensity.

The 2017 Chateau d'Yquem is crafted with meticulous attention to detail by the esteemed producer, Chateau d'Yquem. It is made from a blend of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, which were carefully harvested between September 26 and October 13. The wine was aged in oak barrels to add structure and balance to the sugars.

With its exceptional quality and remarkable aging potential, the 2017 Chateau d'Yquem is a wine to be cherished. It is best enjoyed between 2025 and 2045, allowing its flavors to evolve and mature over time. This wine truly represents the pinnacle of excellence in Sauternes blends and is a testament to the unparalleled craftsmanship of Chateau d'Yquem.