x
  • Country ranking ?

    14
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2050
  • Food Pairing

    Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Lemon Curd

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 2001

When the Bordeaux region wines were classified in 1855, only Château d’Yquem received a classification of its own, Premier Grand Cru Classé, higher than anybody else. Even if the estate could use that classification on its labels, it does not. Today, the estate produces the best wine in its area, in the opinion of some experts the best in Bordeaux. Its location on the highest spot in Sauternes has created a unique micro-climate that varies a lot from year to year. This requires an extremely careful and precise winemaking process, and during poor years, the estate does not produce anything at all.

- “The climatic conditions during the growth period, and the harvest period in particular, when we wait for noble rot to affect the grapes, give our wines their unique personality. This natural process is entirely dependent on weather. We can only decide when and how to harvest” said Alexandre de Lur-Saluces.

In difficult years, harvesting may take up to 8 to 10 weeks. The grapes are still harvested by hand only when they are completely covered by noble rot, not before. Often, as many as ten picks are needed during one harvest. If the grapes are not perfectly ripe, they are left unpicked. Even after winemaking and barrel maturation the wine may be rejected if it does not develop as expected. This happened, for example, in 1978 and 1979, when more than half of the wine was rejected, and occasionally the entire vintage is eliminated: 9 vintages of Yquem are totally absent from the 20th century: 1910, 1915, 1930, 1951, 1952, 1964, 1972, 1974, and 1992.

- “Most people think that taking care of a world-famous estate like Château d’Yquem does not require any effort. Just like other companies, changing world markets affect us too, not to speak of the weather. The year 1974 was one of the most difficult in my time. That depressing year we were not able to produce a single bottle of Yquem and managed to sell only four cases, of our other vintages” Alexandre de Lur-Saluces reminisced.

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
521€ +4.0% 501€ -5.3% 529€ +17.8% 449€ -11.1% 505€ -10.6% 565€ -4.1% 589€ +15.3% 511€

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

39 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full, Gold and Bright

ending

Long, Flavorful and Smooth

flavors

Apricot, Waxy, Coffee, Toasty, Honey and New-oak

nose

Intense, Complex, Fresh and Seductive

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, High alcohol content, High tannin, Concentrated, Well-structured, Complex, Youthful, Medium-bodied, Rich, Fresh, Harmonious, Sweet and Silky tannins

Verdict

Well-rounded and Sophisticated

Written Notes

Wow. It just keeps getting better and better. For me, it has been a 100-pointer from the first time I saw it, back at release. I love this wine and for me, I thought it the greatest young wine, of any ilk, I had ever seen, at the time of release. As it matures, slowly, it seems to me that this will be the greatest Yquem of all time. It is incredible. Luscious notes of apricots, peaches, stonefruits. Balanced and complex. Surely, well cellared bottles have 80 years ahead of them.
  • 100p
2001 Yquem (99) Now I must confess, I donâ•˙t drink much sweet wine, and although I have long adored ancient Yquems, they just donâ•˙t make it into my rotation that often. And when they do, they tend to be older, but a 2001 this summer in Switzerland really made me stand up and take notice. It is rare that a young wine leaves a ╢greatest wine of my lifeâ• impression, ie 99 points, but this Yquem did just that. Impressive, and relatively easy to acquire. Even though I am not a big drinker of sweet wines, it was hard not to notice the greatness of the 2001 Yquem.  This was so rich, so oily, so special, with coconut and cocoa butter and an exotic passionfruit, peach and apricot three-way unfolding dramatically in front of me. So creamy, so incredible, it was much more than just so so (99).
  • 99p
Consistent notes. Residual sugar 9.3%, alcohol 13.6%, acidity 4.6 g/l H2SO4. The nose here is simply out of this world with extreme depth and explosion of flavours like nuts, acacia flower, honey melon, peach and apricot. Stunning vivacity and richness on the palate and what an interplay between fantastic fruit and fantastic acidity. This wine grabs your attention immediately, seduces you and won't let you go. What an angelic treat it is! I guess it will live 50-70 years.100p. This vintage is Sandrine Garbay's favourite among the 14 vintages she's made at d'Yquem.
  • 100p
Yquem 2001 / 97 points Intense young gold with silver tinges. Very expressive with a beautiful array of aromas: Apricot, peach, tangerine, banana and pineapple, roasted fruit and sweet spices. Round and rich but not heavy with a superb harmony and a long candy finish Wonderful wine!
  • 97p

Information

Origin

Sauternes, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

There is a possibility

Glass time

3h

Inside Information

Wine Advocate #158
Apr 2005
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 100 Drink: 2010 - 2100 $333-$1099
There are 10,000 cases of this perfect sweet white Bordeaux. The 2001 Yquem reveals a hint of green in its light gold color. While somewhat reticent aromatically, with airing, it offers up honeyed tropical fruit, orange marmalade, pineapple, sweet creme brulee, and buttered nut-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied with gorgeously refreshing acidity as well as massive concentration and unctuosity. Everything is uplifted and given laser-like focus by refreshing acidity. This large-scaled, youthful Yquem appears set to take its place among the most legendary vintages of the past, and will age effortlessly for 75+ years. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2100+. 
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99p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  d'Yquem 2001  ( Château d'Yquem )

"Tasting is over...the best wine for the event was Yquem 2001 -98 points."

6y 9m ago

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