x
  • Country ranking ?

    50
  • Producer ranking ?

    4
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Traditional Apple Pie

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 1945

In 1945 the Sauternes wine area was tormented by a severe cold that continued till late spring. In April the weather rapidly warmed and the short spring that followed was warm and dry. The first vines bloomed at Yquem as early as May 15th (like in 1990) and that presaged an early harvest, especially when the particularly dry and hot summer months kept this advantage of early growth. In September the rainfall at Yquem was only 13 millimeters (average 72 mm).

The harvest could already commence on September 10th, and it continued uninterrupted for the next six weeks, except for Sundays, which now could exceptionally be taken as rest days thanks to the perfect harvest weather. When the harvest was completed there were 440 casks of new wine in the cool cellars of Yquem. Tasted only five times, but on every occasion it was a perfect 100 points wine.

Most recently tasted at The Vine Club’s 1945 Sauternes tasting, where it was tasted blind along with 14 other Sauternes. Nine tasters out of ten rated it as the best wine of the evening – the lowest score being 97 points, and four times it got full, well-earned 100 points. Bottle was in mint condition with base neck level. Decanted one hour. Brilliant deep gold, tempting colour. Fabulously rich, ripe and fragrant, honeyed bouquet with flavours of apricot and orange. Still sweet with enormous depth and complexity. Full and creamy texture – almost beefy and very fragrant. Surprisingly youthful. Has excellent balance and exquisite finish, with another twenty years to go. For me, clearly the best of the 1945s. Very special!

 

By Nuikki


 

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2010 2005 2000
3 289€ +3.4% 3 180€ +34.1% 2 371€ +32.2% 1 794€ +25.3% 1 432€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

15 tasting notes

Tasting note

nose

Ripe and Mature

recommend

Yes

taste

Well-structured, Complex, Full-bodied, Full, Rich, Ripe and Sweet

color

Full, Gold and Clear

ending

Medium, Smooth and Extensive

flavors

Apricot, Creamy and Honey

Written Notes

In 1945 the Sauternes wine area was tormented by a severe cold that continued till late spring. In April the weather rapidly warmed and the short spring that followed was warm and dry. The first vines bloomed at Yquem as early as May 15th (like in 1990) and that presaged an early harvest, especially when the particularly dry and hot summer months kept this advantage of early growth. In September the rainfall at Yquem was only 13 millimeters (average 72 mm). The harvest could already commence on September 10th, and it continued uninterrupted for the next six weeks, except for Sundays, which now could exceptionally be taken as rest days thanks to the perfect harvest weather. When the harvest was completed there were 440 casks of new wine in the cool cellars of Yquem. Tasted only three times, but on every occasion it was a perfect 100 points wine. Most recently tasted at The Vine Club’s 1945 Sauternes tasting, where it was tasted blind along with 14 other Sauternes. Nine tasters out of ten rated it as the best wine of the evening – the lowest score being 97 points, and four times it got full, well-earned 100 points. Bottle was in mint condition with base neck level. Decanted one hour. Brilliant deep gold, tempting colour. Fabulously rich, ripe and fragrant, honeyed bouquet with flavours of apricot and orange. Still sweet with enormous depth and complexity. Full and creamy texture – almost beefy and very fragrant. Surprisingly youthful. Has excellent balance and exquisite finish, with another twenty years to go. For me, clearly the best of the 1945s. Very special!
  • 100p
The 1947 d’Yquem took it up a notch, even though there wasn’t much room to grow. Candle wax, potpourri, straw, beef and almost some lime thai kink graced the nose. The palate was all about caramel and sex. Its acidity stood out, and it was so sexually texturally, I had to check myself. There was a kiss of orange to its ridiculously good flavors (98).
  • 99p
Orange brown. Even if this wine couldn't match 1947 fantastic effort, it had sufficient amount of ingredients to make you extremely satisfied. There was crème brulée, candied apricots, catching elegance and refinement. It will surprise me, if this wine can't last for additional 10-15 years.
  • 96p

Information

Origin

Sauternes, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Serious

Glass time

1h

Inside Information

eRobertParker.com #213
Jun 2014
Neal Martin 100 Drink: 2014 - 2040 $4598-$6286
Served from an ex-chateau bottle. As the old saying goes: there are perfect bottles but not perfect wines. True. But there is absolutely no question that this was a perfect bottle of Sauternes. The 1945 Chateau d’Yquem got off to an inauspicious start when a rare frost (-2 degrees) on May 2 miraculously only affected two or three leaves at the top of the vine and left the nascent buds unscathed. Chateau records detail that the 1945 was picked during six pickings that spanned six weeks from Monday to Saturday. It would seem that observance of the Sabbath led to God’s blessing upon the resulting wines. Harvest commenced on September 9 (after 41mm of rainfall on August 29 provoked widespread botrytis) and finished on October 20. The 1945 Yquem is loaded with 164 grams per liter residual sugar with 4.41 grams per liter total acidity, but statistics are a moot point. Do not let its tawny port appearance put you off. The bouquet is so ridiculously delineated and pure that it will make any other Sauternes within its ambit look ordinary. The aromas race from the glass: Seville orange marmalade, quince, wilted rose petals and an old antique bureau. The palate is perfection. The balance is extraordinary, the acidity effortlessly slicing through the candied orange peel and quince notes, a subtle saline tang delivered on the shimmering, crystalline finish. Returning to the bottle two hours later it has lost absolutely none of its energy. I might one day drink a Sauternes equal to the 1945 Yquem, but I will never drink a Sauternes that is better. Drink now-2040+. Tasted March 2014.
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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

96p
 Izak Litwar / The most important Scandinavian Bordeaux Critic, Pro (Denmark)  tasted  d'Yquem 1945  ( Château d'Yquem )

"Orange brown. Even if this wine couldn't match 1947 fantastic effort, it had sufficient amount of ingredients to make you extremely satisfied. There was crème brulée, candied apricots, catching elegance and refinement. It will surprise me, if this wine can't last for additional 10-15 years."

1y 1m ago

100p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  d'Yquem 1945  ( Château d'Yquem )

"In 1945 the Sauternes wine area was tormented by a severe cold that continued till late spring. In April the weather rapidly warmed and the short spring that followed was warm and dry. The first vines bloomed at Yquem as early as May 15th (like in 1990) and that presaged an early harvest, especially when the particularly dry and hot summer months kept this advantage of early growth. In September the rainfall at Yquem was only 13 millimeters (average 72 mm).

The harvest could already commence on September 10th, and it continued uninterrupted for the next six weeks, except for Sundays, which now could exceptionally be taken as rest days thanks to the perfect harvest weather. When the harvest was completed there were 440 casks of new wine in the cool cellars of Yquem.
Tasted only three times, but on every occasion it was a perfect 100 points wine. Most recently tasted at The Vine Club’s 1945 Sauternes tasting, where it was tasted blind along with 14 other Sauternes. Nine tasters out of ten rated it as the best wine of the evening – the lowest score being 97 points, and four times it got full, well-earned 100 points. Bottle was in mint condition with base neck level. Decanted one hour. Brilliant deep gold, tempting colour. Fabulously rich, ripe and fragrant, honeyed bouquet with flavours of apricot and orange. Still sweet with enormous depth and complexity. Full and creamy texture – almost beefy and very fragrant. Surprisingly youthful. Has excellent balance and exquisite finish, with another twenty years to go. For me, clearly the best of the 1945s. Very special!
"

2y 8m ago

99p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  d'Yquem 1945  ( Château d'Yquem )

"The 1947 d’Yquem took it up a notch, even though there wasn’t much room to grow. Candle wax, potpourri, straw, beef and almost some lime thai kink graced the nose. The palate was all about caramel and sex. Its acidity stood out, and it was so sexually texturally, I had to check myself. There was a kiss of orange to its ridiculously good flavors (98)."

4y 4m ago

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