2021 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes Blend

Sauternes Blend - 750ML
Reg: $395.00
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JS 100 JL 98 TWI 97 VN 96 WA 95 WS 94
JS 100

jamessuckling.com, April 2024

Dreamy, subtle aromas of dried fruit such as apricots and mangoes, but also fresh lemons and pears. Then there are caramel and tart tatin undertones with some bananas, pineapple, tangerines and other tropical fruit...
JL 98

TheWineCellarInsider.com, March 2024

The complex aromatic profile explodes from the glass with pineapple, papaya, apricot, Meyer lemon, tangerine peels, caramel, honey, vanilla, saffron, cashews, and candied grapefruit in the aromatic profile. The palate...
TWI 97

The Wine Independent, March 2024

The 2021 d'Yquem is composed of 65% Sémillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc. It has 148 grams per liter of residual sugar, making for a relatively rich style and the sweetest Yquem since 2017. Pale lemon-gold colored, perfumed...
VN 96

Vinous, February 2024

The 2021 Yquem was tasted in Amsterdam, the first wine poured at a lunch, thereby allowing me a longer period to examine it. Slightly burnished in hue, it has a very attractive bouquet with scents of dried quince...
WA 95

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, February 2024

The 2021 d'Yquem exhibits a complex bouquet of rose, exotic fruits and mandarin orange mingled with spring flowers, rose and crème brûlée, followed by a medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless palate that's suave and...
WS 94

Wine Spectator, May 2024

Unctuous and flattering, with a mix of toasted coconut and macadamia nut notes infusing the mango, peach and papaya flavors at the core. The broad, soft, honeyed finish fills in with piecrust and lemon curd notes. A bit...


Color & Type Dessert
Varietal Sauternes Blend
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Sub-region Sauternes
Vintage 2021
Size 750ML

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.

![2021 Chateau d'Yquem](https://www.jjbuckley.com/permalink/bottle/image/2021-112-750)

The 2021 Chateau d'Yquem is a Sauternes blend from the renowned Bordeaux region of France, crafted by Chateau d'Yquem. This vintage primarily consists of 65% Sémillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc. The wine exhibits a pale lemon-gold hue and is noted for its relatively rich style, with 148 grams per liter of residual sugar, making it the sweetest Yquem since 2017.

Neal Martin from Vinous awarded the 2021 Yquem a score of 96, highlighting its “attractive bouquet with scents of dried quince, clementine, linseed, and subtle candle wax.” Martin notes that this Yquem has a “lighter chassis than recent vintages” and emphasizes “poise and purity over horsepower.” He describes the wine as medium-bodied with a viscous entry, opening wonderfully in the glass to reveal frangipane and kaki fruit scents, and a “lighter and more tensile finish” compared to the 2020 or 2019 vintages.

The Wine Independent's reviewer gave this vintage an excellent score of 97. They described the wine's perfume as featuring “orange peel, juicy peaches, grapefruit, and honeycomb,” with additional notes of “jasmine tea, fresh ginger, and lime blossoms” emerging slowly. On the palate, the wine is characterized as “fantastically satiny, with great tension and loads of spicy sparks complementing the citrusy flavors.” The reviewer also noted the impressive production volume of 54,000 bottles.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, with a score of 95, praised the 2021 d'Yquem for its “complex bouquet of rose, exotic fruits, and mandarin orange mingled with spring flowers, rose, and crème brûlée.” The wine is described as “medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless,” with a “deep core and a long finish,” offset by a delicate bitterness that balances the high residual sugar. The integration of new oak barrels is noted as being “barely noticeable.”

Wine Spectator rated the wine at 94, describing it as “unctuous and flattering,” with a mix of “toasted coconut and macadamia nut notes infusing the mango, peach, and papaya flavors at the core.” They noted the broad, soft, honeyed finish with additional elements of “piecrust and lemon curd,” suggesting a more traditional style with “more oomph than freshness.”

Overall, the 2021 Chateau d'Yquem is a complex and richly styled Sauternes blend, well-received by multiple reviewers, with scores ranging from 94 to 97.