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.
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!
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|3 289€ +3.4%||3 180€ +34.1%||2 371€ +32.2%||1 794€ +25.3%||1 432€|