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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.
Very warm, dry weather from May to August was followed by 110 mm of rain in 24 hours... There was enough precipitation in September to trigger botrytis, which then spread well. The weather was very cooperative from that point on. The grapes had 16° potential alcohol when the harvest started, but this rose to 30 within two weeks – by which time we had fortunately finished picking. The waiting paid off, and the grapes picked at different stages combined beautifully to make a wine that is both unique and fabulous!
Bordeaux / An excellent year for both sides of the Gironde and just the vintage that Bordeaux needed after the rain affected vintages of the previous 4 years. A mild winter and early spring was followed by a dry, hot summer. It did rain in early September but the rain was less than in the previous 4 vintages and, crucially, there was perfect weather from September 20th through to October.
Quality is high across all levels and appellations, with the Merlot-dominated wines of St-Emilion andPomerol being particularly successful. The best wines are very ripe and display good concentration and structure.