• Country ranking ?

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  • Decanting time

  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    foie gras canapés

A 1929 was a very dry year that became increasingly warm as the growing season went on. It was exceedingly hot even in September, with 14 days above 30°C. The harvest was a dream – the weather was so fine there was no need to stop at any point. The only risk was that sugar levels would climb too high, and the potential alcohol bordered on 26 degrees. 29 Yquem is a monument of power, richness, and with a deep amber colour that makes this wine immediately stand out.

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The Story

The pleasure derived from tasting Yquem is difficult to describe.

It offers a myriad of well-balanced, complex flavours that generate even more harmonies over time. The impression that remains is reminiscent of a quote from Frédéric Dard "the silence that follows a piece by Mozart, in which the listener remains suffused with the music". This reflects the fact that Château d'Yquem stays on the palate for a remarkable long time, providing a unique, prolonged pleasure. There is a lovely expression in French to describe Yquem's tremendously long aftertaste: il fait la queue du paon, which means that it spreads out like a peacock's tail.


It is always difficult to describe wine-tasting experiences with any precision. The senses of sight, smell, taste and touch are all stimulated virtually at the same time. While gifted tasters can identify some of the aromas and flavours in a glass of Yquem in an effort to define its complexity, they never really succeed in communicating its essence or explaining its mystery. Mere analysis, whether chemical or organoleptic, is not sufficient to account for Yquem's greatness. Yquem tells a unique story... It starts with the bouquet. Although not always very outgoing in young vintages, it 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 Château 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. Château d'Yquem's aftertaste is legendary, and it tells another story, which lasts and lasts…

Certain connoisseurs consider it outrageous to drink a young Yquem and believe that opening such a monumental wine before its thirtieth birthday is tantamount to a sacrilege. Others, on the contrary, think that Yquem can be enjoyed at all stages in its life.

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Vintage 1929

Sotheby’s London announced that an extraordinary 70- vintage vertical collection from the famed Château d’Yquem, arguably the world’s greatest sweet wine, sold to a European Private Buyer for £368,000 (est. in excess of £100,000*) in a sale of Finest and Rarest Wines.
Bidding was vigorous with the highly sought-after lot contested by two telephone bidders and a room bidder. When the hammer finally fell, the price far exceeded expectations. Commenting on the sale, Stephen Mould, Head of Sotheby’s European Wine Department, and today’s auctioneer said “We had
expected and indeed received a lot of interest from Europe and Asia in this special lot but we were delighted with the result, which set a record for a single wine lot sold by Sotheby’s in London and the second highest price for a wine lot sold at Sotheby’s.** The final price demonstrates how wines of such exceptional provenance sell for well in excess of high estimate.” This century-spanning vertical comprised 136 bottles, two from every year featured (with the exception of four vintages), from 1892 to the stupendous 2001 vintage. Among these are wonders such as 1896,
1899, 1909, 1921, 1924, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1967 and all the great wines of the modern era; not one of the bottles in this collection has ever previously surfaced from the cellars of the Château.

Serena Sutcliffe, MW, International Head of Sotheby’s Wine department, said: “Of all the great wines produced in the Sauternes region of Bordeaux, Château d’Yquem is widely acknowledged as the most splendid, a wine that seems indestructible and an unparalleled sensory experience. Renowned for its lusciousness, concentration, and longevity, it has long commanded the highest prices at auction and is pursued in today’s market by long-standing and new collectors alike.”

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note


Deep, Amber and Dark


Long, Extensive and Lingering


Apricot, Honey, Nutty, Caramel and Sherry-like






Average in Acidity, Low alcohol content, Well-structured, Multi-dimensional, Balanced, Mature, Medium-bodied, Focused, Round, Harmonious and Medium-Sweet


Outstanding and Excellent

Written Notes

Recorked in 1990. Light mahogany. Had very intense nose of candied apricots and citrus peel, with fine, well-integrated and captivating noble rot. It was creamy on the palate with delicious sweetness, lots of tropical fruits, exemplary structure, impressive length and persistent and honeyed aftertaste. Magnificent example of d'Yquem, full of energy and vitality, and which should be able to last for at least 20-30 more years.
  • 97p
CHATEAU D’YQUEM 1929 Eric Beaumard, the legendary Maitre and Wine Director of the George V, who has mentored more wine luminaries than one can count, exclaimed: “Unbelievable, magnificent, perfect!” It was an extraordinary experience, first to see the color when first poured, dark amber, turning almost mahogany in the decanter (30 minutes), typical of the ’29 and ’21 and also the 1847 (somewhat lighter). What might be taken for slight Maderization, was anything but. It was its signature (for this wine in this vintage) bitter orange peel/orange marmalade, then crème brulee, truffled honey, the sugar becoming more of a subtle contributor to the “mouthfeel” as layers of complexity and richness brazenly enveloped and stimulated the palate. 97 Points+
  • 97p
D 30 min / G 1.5 h Deep, brown colour. Oxidated yet lovely nose with raisiny chocolate aromas combined with walnuts, wet tobacco, and earthiness. A very intense palate is sweet with moderate acidity, burnt sugar tones, hazelnuts, and intense chocolaty flavours. Silky texture and a long finish. Lovely wine which would have rated even higher if the bottle would have not been oxidized.
  • 96p



Sauternes, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality


Value For Money


Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory


Glass time


Drinking temperature



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