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    now to 2040

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 1990

A vintage that reflects a beautiful hot, dry summer that stopped short of anything excessive. Lasting from 17/9 to 10/10, the harvest was very intense – picking took place every day during that time, except on weekends. The weather was outstanding, the grapes were ideal, and this is an extraordinary, amazingly successful vintage – an archetypal great Yquem with tremendous balance, power, and finesse.

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2015 2014 2012 2010 2005
302€ +1.0% 299€ -19.4% 371€ +1.4% 366€ -7.1% 394€ +41.7% 278€

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

22 tasting notes

Tasting note


Full, Amber and Bright


Long, Lingering and Spicy


Apricot, Vanilla, Waxy, Toasty, Honey and Coffee


Refined, Complex, Rich and Intense




Average in Acidity, Concentrated, Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Youthful, Medium-bodied, Firm, Round, Harmonious and Sweet


Well-rounded and Sophisticated

Written Notes

We started with the classic quartet of 1990, 1989, 1988 and 1986. The 1990 Chateau d’Yquem had aromas of seawater, salt, honey, beeswax and candlewax in its nutty and creamy nose. It became more reticent with time in the glass, but its palate stayed honeyed, and it was ‘more textured’ than some of the others in the flight. Orange kisses blew gently over its finish. Interestingly enough, it seemed almost shut down after the 1989, but this was certainly a great Yquem with decades of potential (96).
  • 96p
Tasted both from normal and magnum bottle. There was no significant difference between those two bottles regarding aroma, richness and taste. Light golden. Refined and deep in the nose with magnificently defined botrytis, sophisticated and refined on the palate with delicious sweetness, heather/rasp honey and lasting aftertaste. This wine is incredibly well put together and has incredibly promising future. Tasted again in September 2010 (normal bottle) with same impression.
  • 97p
A clear, deep yellow colour. The nose offers intensive honey notes with a reductive elegance. The apricot and marmalade fruitiness will open in time. Stylish and layered. A sweet, freshly acidic and concentrated palate. Just now entering its prime drinkability, and will withstand another 10-20 years of bottle maturation. Decanted immediately before serving. Lasts 30 minutes in the glass. Decanted 2.5 hours. Lasts for several hours in the glass.
  • 94p
(Served blind) Golden. Apricots, vanilla, pineaples, youthfull and tight. Fresh acidity, superb balance, pure feel, long and nuanced. The most elegant and layered bottle I've had of this and still very young in its expression.
  • 94p



Sauternes, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality


Value For Money


Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory


Glass time



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