The first and the best Château d'Yquem 1967
The 1967 vintage of Château d'Yquem will be written in history as the first and one of the best vintages of Comte Alexandre de Lur Saluces. He could not have hoped for a better starting point. The year was very rewarding in the Sauternes region. The cool spring initially delayed the blooming of the vines, but the hot and exceptionally dry summer accelerated the growth so much that not even the cold and stormy September could not spoil the harvest. October offered perfect conditions for a perfect vintage. A moment before the start of the harvest the sun appeared and the 12 picks at Yquem after the thirty days following September 25 went in perfect weather. An exceptionally large part of the good-quality harvest, 90 per cent, ended up in making Yquem itself.
The entire Sauternes region produced wines with rare quality, and especially Yquem is considered one of the best in its history. It has been predicted to mature gracefully and retaining its fine qualities long into the new century.
Remembering this prediction, I ordered Yquem as our dessert wine. The waiter brought us a bottle that was outwardly as good as new. Decanted 15 minutes. Retained its best properties in glass for about two hours. The wine had grown a little dark, but was still a beautiful golden colour. At first, the nose was rather scant, probably due to too short decanting. After 30 minutes in the glass, this scantiness had turned into pomp, and we were surrounded by refined aromas of ripe tropical fruit and honey. The wine in fact was like honey – dense and full. An Yquem with full taste and good balancing acids. The mouthfeel was exceptionally heavy and contagious, as was the aftertaste. A silky smooth, thick and most enjoyable Sauternes with great future ahead, but already now an excellent finishing touch for a good Christmas dinner.
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.
A vintage with fine weather: a beautiful dry hot summer and a very successful first pass from 26/9 to 3/10, accompanied by a few scattered showers. Picking started up again on 9/10. Temperatures were high, including at night, which was conducive to perfect botrytis. The harvest ended on 26/10. The grapes were very ripe and extremely concentrated. The wine has a subtle balance and is a benchmark vintage for the 1960s and 70s.
Average Bottle Price
|1 190€ +0.5%||1 184€ -10.4%||1 321€ +8.5%||1 218€ +36.9%||890€|