• Country ranking ?

    1 346
  • Producer ranking ?

  • Decanting time

  • When to drink

    now to 2050

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 2003

This year was strongly marked by hot weather starting in mid-May, building up to record temperatures in August. The summer of 2003 was totally outside the norm. 35 mm of rain in early September brought on an overwhelming and all-encompassing attack of botrytis that resulted in a unique phenomenon: the entire crop was picked in one single pass! The wine is as elegant as it is atypical. It is said that this vintage is reminiscent of the conditions that led to the making of the first ever botrytised wines in Sauternes.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

11 tasting notes

Tasting note






Average in Acidity, Balanced, Multi-dimensional, Full-bodied, Rich and Sweet


Sexy and Full-bodied

Written Notes

It doesn't get more famous when it comes to sweet wine; actually, it doesn't get much more famous when it comes to wine. To butcher Johnson, if you are tired of Yquem, then you really are tired of living. 2003 was a much hyped vintage, and deservedly so but coming so close on 2001 and then followed by 2005, it was in tough company. All brilliant, brilliant wines. 2001 remains for me the benchmark – best young wine I have ever tried and I believe that there is every chance that with time, it will become the greatest Yquem ever made. 2003 was a hotter, fuller, richer vintage. And so is the wine. It is a big, rich, plush, fat, soft, opulent Yquem. Just delicious. Very intense. It won't live as long as the 2001 but it will still live longer than most of us. Flavours of pineapple, apricot, honeycomb and tropical fruits abound. A joy. If 2001 is Audrey Hepburn, then this is Marilyn Monroe. 97
  • 97p

One of the weakest Yquems I have tried over time.Light golden color, extremely closed on the nose,tiny scent of marmelade , orange peel, peach, light to medium body, not very sweet and low acidity(extremely hot year).Disappointing finish.Either just in a sleeping phase or just not great.Will give it another chance in 5-10 years.

Tried it blind versus the Rieussec 2005, which was more appealing.

  • 85p
Tasted three times - last time in April 2014. Consistent notes. 80% of the harvest into Grand Vin. Residual sugar 8.3%, alcohol 13.5%, acidity 4.2 g/l H2SO4.. Harvest ended on record breaking erliest date of 26th September and lasted only 9 days! I'm totally in heaven. Extraordinary concentrated aromas of dried fruits, candied orange peel, mango, guava, candied apricot. Phenomenal purity and intensity. Wow! Incredibly long ongoing aftertaste which lasts for more than one minute. Paradise in heaven.
  • 100p



Sauternes, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality


Value For Money


Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Be Cautious

Glass time



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