x
  • Country ranking ?

    63
  • Producer ranking ?

    4
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Traditional Apple Pie

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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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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Wine Information

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!

 

By Nuikki


 

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Vintage 1945

The world’s best wine vintage – 1947 or 1945? Tastingbook tasted all the best wines from these two great vintages.

If the wine producers from different regions were asked to name the best vintages from their winemaking history, the most would name 1947 or 1945 as one of the great ones. If we then compared them together there would be most likely only one vintage that the most if not every producer had named on list – 1947.

We wanted to test that theory and we tasted them agains each other and the winner was 1947 – by far.

The vintage 1947 was a magical vintage. It remains in the history as one of the only vintages that all well-established quality wine regions in the world were blessed with superb weather conditions. The heat waves  were experienced all around the world and for instance the whole Europe was bating under scorching sun and experiencing a heat wave  during the summer. This resulted very concentrated and highly ripe grapes. The producers had challenges to handle the very ripe grapes with high sugar levels as there was a constant risk of bacterial contamination in less hygenic cellars that had no artifical cooling systems. As there was no technology to use, many invoked on huge blocks of ice to cool the room temperautre down and even putting ice in their fermentation tanks.

This vintage has proven to yield very long lasting wines from all around the world. The wines are marked with sweet and ripe fruit character and warming alcohol. Due to the poorly hygenic winemaking facilities, many of the wines show volatile characters. Some might find this as a fault, but for many mature wine lovers this feature is even a preferred character. However, when buying the wines from this vintage, one should be aware that there is high level of bottle variations and the risk of having highly volatile wines is remarkably high.

1945 was an exceptional year throughout the whole France, from Côte-Rôtie to Bordeaux. Due to the warm and dry conditions, the grapes were very concentrated and produced an extraordinary, but unfortunately small yield. The harvest in 1945 was an early harvest, which started on the same date as 1982, September 13. The wines began life with massive levels of tannin and took quite a few decades to develop. Due to the high tannin levels, many of the wines still show well today.

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2010 2005 2000
3 289€ +3.4% 3 180€ +34.1% 2 371€ +32.2% 1 794€ +25.3% 1 432€

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

20 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full, Gold and Clear

ending

Medium, Smooth and Extensive

flavors

Apricot, Creamy and Honey

nose

Mature and Ripe

recommend

Yes

taste

Well-structured, Complex, Full-bodied, Full, Rich, Ripe and Sweet

Written Notes

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 three 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!
  • 100p
The 1947 d’Yquem took it up a notch, even though there wasn’t much room to grow. Candle wax, potpourri, straw, beef and almost some lime thai kink graced the nose. The palate was all about caramel and sex. Its acidity stood out, and it was so sexually texturally, I had to check myself. There was a kiss of orange to its ridiculously good flavors (98).
  • 99p

The 1945 d'Yquem is consistent with the two previous bottles that I tasted. I will not say anything other than that it is a perfect bottle of Sauternes. It still has that ethereal delineation on the nose of vivacious Seville orange marmalade and quince aromas, if maybe just a little more nuttiness compared to previous bottles. The palate is brilliantly poised, offering tangy marmalade mixed with satsuma, mango and crushed stone, just so crystalline and pure. A magnificent wine at the peak of its almighty powers. Tasted at Koala's 1945 dinner.

  • 100p

Rich, opulent concentrated and full-bodied. Medium gold with a honeyed, oaky, flowery, tropical fruit bouquet, magnificent and unique.

  • 100p

This was a glorious finale with the almost equally glorious Omelette Novegienne. The bouquet is a riot of caramel, berries, coconut, Seville orange and heather. Quince and honey on the palate opening, an entrancing combination of brown sugar and a touch of salinity next as it approaches the mid palate. Texturally divine, full and round, marvelously balancing acidity, rose petals on the palate, deep, pure, palate enveloping, hedonism meets captivating balance, and the finish is a marvelous medley of brulee, orange peel and delightful, lingering energy. 99-100 Points

  • 100p
Orange brown. Even if this wine couldn't match 1947 fantastic effort, it had sufficient amount of ingredients to make you extremely satisfied. There was crème brulée, candied apricots, catching elegance and refinement. It will surprise me, if this wine can't last for additional 10-15 years.
  • 96p
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Information

Origin

Sauternes, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Serious

Glass time

1h

Inside Information

eRobertParker.com #213
Jun 2014
Neal Martin 100 Drink: 2014 - 2040 $4598-$6286
Served from an ex-chateau bottle. As the old saying goes: there are perfect bottles but not perfect wines. True. But there is absolutely no question that this was a perfect bottle of Sauternes. The 1945 Chateau d’Yquem got off to an inauspicious start when a rare frost (-2 degrees) on May 2 miraculously only affected two or three leaves at the top of the vine and left the nascent buds unscathed. Chateau records detail that the 1945 was picked during six pickings that spanned six weeks from Monday to Saturday. It would seem that observance of the Sabbath led to God’s blessing upon the resulting wines. Harvest commenced on September 9 (after 41mm of rainfall on August 29 provoked widespread botrytis) and finished on October 20. The 1945 Yquem is loaded with 164 grams per liter residual sugar with 4.41 grams per liter total acidity, but statistics are a moot point. Do not let its tawny port appearance put you off. The bouquet is so ridiculously delineated and pure that it will make any other Sauternes within its ambit look ordinary. The aromas race from the glass: Seville orange marmalade, quince, wilted rose petals and an old antique bureau. The palate is perfection. The balance is extraordinary, the acidity effortlessly slicing through the candied orange peel and quince notes, a subtle saline tang delivered on the shimmering, crystalline finish. Returning to the bottle two hours later it has lost absolutely none of its energy. I might one day drink a Sauternes equal to the 1945 Yquem, but I will never drink a Sauternes that is better. Drink now-2040+. Tasted March 2014.
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