2019 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend

Sauternes Blend - 15L
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JL 98 VN 98 DC 97 JA 97 WS 97 JS 96 WA 93
JL 98

TheWineCellarInsider.com, March 2022

Light, yellow, gold in color, the wine pops on the nose with its showy display of flowers, honeysuckle, candied apricots, orange rind, pineapple, mango, lemongrass, vanilla and spice. Perched on the corner of richness...
VN 98

Vinous, February 2022

Owners LVMH took the decision to delay the release of the 2019 Yquem until spring 2022. It was tasted with winemaker Sandrine Garbay in London. After the summer drought when Sauternes received just 2.5mm of rain until 26...
DC 97

Decanter, February 2022

The 2019 vintage of Château d'Yquem has the highest proportion (45%) of Sauvignon Blanc in any modern Yquem. The Sauvignon Blanc adds to the freshness, acting as a great balance to the succulent, sweet and voluptuous...
JA 97

janeanson.com, June 2022

Silky rich depths, clear even on the nose, but tingling mineral limon and citrus flavours, white pepper, basil, apricot. 138g/l residual sugar, 10hl/h yield. A higher percentage of Sauvignon Blanc than in a typical year...
WS 97

Wine Spectator, June 2022

A special wine right from the start, this glistens with pure papaya, mango, white peach and mirabelle plum, joined by elderflower honey, toasted macadamia nut and orange blossom notes. Remarkably long finish. Sémillon and...
JS 96

jamessuckling.com, June 2022

A juicy Yquem with tarte tartin, salted caramel and dried oranges on the nose and palate. Medium-to full-bodied and medium-sweet with a creamy and round texture. Bright and vivid. Lovely texture. Long. Evolves to caramel...
WA 93

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, October 2023

A blend of 55% Sémillon and 45% Sauvignon Blanc (the highest percentage of Sauvignon Blanc ever), the 2019 d'Yquem features a Sauvignon Blanc-driven bouquet with aromas of menthol, artichoke, iodine, asparagus and orchard...


Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 2019
Size 15L
Percent alcohol 14.5%

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 2019 Château d'Yquem, a Sauternes blend from Bordeaux, France, offers an exceptional tasting experience that has garnered high praise from numerous professional reviewers. This wine, which features a blend of 55% Sémillon and 45% Sauvignon Blanc, stands out due to the highest percentage of Sauvignon Blanc ever used in a modern Yquem vintage. The vintage is notable for its alcohol percentage of 14.5% and residual sugar content of 138 grams per liter.

Jane Anson from JaneAnson.com rates this wine at 97 points, highlighting its "silky rich depths" and "tingling mineral limon and citrus flavors." She notes the presence of "white pepper, basil, and apricot," with a remarkable "sculpted gunsmoke and white truffle" aroma. Anson also points out that Château d'Yquem began organic conversion in August 2019, with certification expected in 2022.

Decanter also awards the wine 97 points, commenting on its "freshness" and "succulent, sweet and voluptuous palate" thanks to the high proportion of Sauvignon Blanc. The tasting notes emphasize "intense peach and apricot, combined with lemon and orange zest," making it an appealing choice for immediate consumption or long-term aging. The publication mentions that the 2019 growing season was challenging, with a warm and wet climate and mildew threats.

Vinous scores the 2019 Château d'Yquem at 98 points, noting the tight picking window during the harvest and the wine's slightly paler hue. The reviewer describes the wine as having "5.5g/L total acidity and 14.4% alcohol," emphasizing the importance of precise timing during the harvest period.

Jeff Leve from TheWineCellarInsider.com also gives the wine a score of 98, praising its "showy display of flowers, honeysuckle, candied apricots, orange rind, pineapple, mango, lemongrass, vanilla, and spice." He describes the wine as "opulent, fresh, sweet, rich, and most-importantly, lifted," suitable for various cuisines and both immediate enjoyment or long-term aging.

Wine Spectator, awarding it 97 points, describes the wine as "glistening with pure papaya, mango, white peach, and mirabelle plum," accompanied by "elderflower honey, toasted macadamia nut, and orange blossom notes." The publication suggests drinking it now through 2050.

James Suckling rates the wine at 96 points, noting its "juicy" nature with flavors of "tarte tartin, salted caramel, and dried oranges." He praises its "creamy and round texture" and "bright and vivid" character, recommending it for both immediate consumption or aging.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate provides a slightly more conservative score of 93 points. Yohan Castaing highlights the "Sauvignon Blanc-driven bouquet" with aromas of "menthol, artichoke, iodine, asparagus, and orchard fruits," and describes the palate as "balanced and delicately moderated" with an "ethereal, fruity finish."

The 2019 Château d'Yquem is an exceptional Sauternes blend that showcases a high level of craftsmanship and a unique balance of flavors, making it a standout vintage for both immediate enjoyment and long-term aging.