Yquem tasting notes :  1er Cru Superieur - Appellation Sauternes - Barsac - Vertical Tasting

Tasting Chateau Yquem

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CHATEAU D'YQUEM - 1er Cru Superieur - Sauternes-Barsac


Article by Joe Belmaati for ccvo-bg.org

Pictures by Philip Dyna and ccvo-bg

I recently attended an extensive tasting that spanned two lunches and two dinners. The focal point of the event was a vertical tasting of Château D'Yquem. The tasting was put together in Copenhagen, and hosted by Philip Dyna who is an avid collector and a great friend at the same time. Careful attention has been paid to sourcing pristine bottles where possible, and as such, it would be hard to argue against the scientific merits of this tasting - not to speak of the incredible pleasure and honour of attending it. 

The tasting was conducted at Restaurant Ensemble who had cleared their schedule - both for Saturday and Sunday - in order to host and cook for us. As usual they did an impeccable and highly inspired job. 

As for the setup for the tasting itself, Philip had composed the flights in a very interesting fashion. The wines were presented semi-blind, and they were decanted and poured immediately. (A couple of the really old bottles were poured directly). I have chosen to write up the notes in reverse chronological order for ease of reading. Admittedly, this is also in an effort to provide the best possible notes, as I found it incredibly hard to write many consecutive notes without all of them sounding the same. 

2000 Yqmem


1999 Yquem


1998 Yquem


1997 Yquem


1996 Yquem


1995 Yquem


1994 Yquem


1993 Yquem


1991 Yquem


1990 Yquem


1990 Yquem


1989 Yquem 1988 Yquem 1987 Yquem 1986 Yquem 1985 Yquem 1984 Yquem 1983 Yquem 1982 Yquem 1981 Yquem 1980 Yquem 1979 Yquem
1978 Yquem 1977 Yquem 1976 Yquem 1975 Yquem 1973 Yquem 1971 Yquem 1970 Yquem 1969 Yquem 1968 Yquem 1967 Yquem 1966 Yquem
      Chateau Yquem      
1965 Yquem 1963 Yquem 1962 Yquem 1961 Yquem 1960  Yquem 1959 Yquem
1957 Yquem 1955 Yquem 1954 Yquem 1953 Yquem 1950 Yquem 1949 Yquem
1947 Yquem 1945 Yquem 1944 Yquem 1943 Yquem 1941 Yquem 1939 Yquem
1938 Yquem 1937 Yquem 1936 Yquem 1934 Yquem 1929 Yquem 1928 Yquem
1926 Yquem 1924 Yquem 1921 Yquem 1919 Yquem 1918 Yquem 1914 Yquem
1906 Yquem 1891 Yquem 1847 Yquem


> 2000 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Picture: Yquem 1995, 1999, 2000

yquem 1995, 1999, 2000Medium yellow/light golden color. Scents of paint, glue, almonds, and cinnamon. Fat and oily in texture with a wonderfully delicate sense of sweetness delivered with a good punch and intensity. A well crafted and structured wine that drinks exceptionally well right now. As such, the wine might lack of touch of acid for width and freshness. However, at present the wine provides huge pleasure, is exceptionally well structured, and possesses lots of personality and character with no cloying heaviness. Well balanced and long on the aftertaste92 points 

> 1999 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light to medium straw yellow color. This wine was very closed on the nose and never seemed to wrangle its way out of captivity. This is probably a wine that should be tucked away in the darkest corner of the cellar. In the mouth the wine was somewhat bitter and thin. Definitely on the light side. The wine did possess a delicate and elegant sweetness and roundness of flavor with good balance and harmony, yet a bit more flesh and meat would have been desirable. Medium to short on the aftertaste88 points 

Chateau Yquem, Sauternes Barsac, France

> 1998 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Pale yellow color with a light green hue. Scents of tree bark and honey with added detergent fumes underneath. Sweet, like sugar cane and quite vulgar at that. Seems to lack a touch of refinement to the flavor. Good density and viscosity with ample freshness, but somewhat confused and unfocused in structure. Light bodied with floral notes on the aftertaste. Quite good, yet falls short of the "excellent" mark.

89 points 

> 1997 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Medium yellow color. Scents of white flowers. Delightfully restrained and detailed in flavor on the palate with a good oily flow and velvety texture. Quite packed, yet very restrained and light on its feet with great purity and textbook balance. I particularly liked the light non-cloying facets of this wine, and the aftertaste was smooth and harmonious. 91 points

> 1996 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Medium straw/hay yellow. Explosive nose on notes of honey, almonds, walnuts, hazelnut, and petroleum. Deliciously dense and intense on the palate with a thick, non-cloying texture and perfect grip and poise. Focused, balanced and largely structured with excellent purity of flavor and superb complexity. Vibrant and persistent on the long, balanced aftertaste. Serious. 95 points 

> 1995 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Medium to dark yellow. Seemed corked on the nose. Flat in flavor. Definitely flawed. NR 

Chais de Chateau Yquem, Sauternes Barsac France


> 1994 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Picture: Yquem 1991, 1993, 1994

Yquem, 1991, 1993, 1994, Sauternes Barsac FranceMedium yellow color. Very closed on the nose. The particularly curious nose could single out notes of fresh air if that is a scent. Nice, creamy texture with a simple and forward expression of flavor. Comparatively hollow on the palate with a balanced output, yet not a particularly spectacular overall experience. 88 points 

> 1993 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark yellow color. Scents of pudding, crème brûlée, and hazelnuts. Medium to light bodied with a bizarre and clumsy flavor profile. Even if the size of the wine seemed light to medium, there was a strange over-sized nature to the fruit. Like it was too large for its own good. A pair of jeans where the waistline is too tight. The sweetness seemed artificial somehow. 
83 points 

> 1991 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Medium yellow color. Very closed on the nose. With air and swirling notes of rubber appeared. Crisp and fresh with well structured components and a vivid expression of fruit and botrytis. Good complexity and vibrancy with well defined sweetness and a balanced harmonious aftertaste. This wine was a surprise and would have gotten a much better grade had it not been for a slight bitterness at the very backend of the aftertaste90 points 

Chateau d'Yquem

Picture: Chateau d'Yquem

> 1990 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Picture: Yquem 1986, 1990

Yquem, 1986, 1990, magnum From magnum. Golden yellow color. Scents of plums and nougat with added notes of pine needles and luxury vanilla. Incredibly fresh and ripe with perfect balance, and a thick oily texture. An exceptionally well crafted wine with interesting and restrained elements and complete transparency. Multi dimensional with a large array of flavor components and great complexity. Apricot intermixed with acacia honey, mango, and ginger. Big in intensity with perfect ripeness and a long, long finish. As always, nearly perfect. 97 points 


> 1990 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

From 0.750. Dark yellow color. Wonderful scent of vanilla. Big and boisterous on the palate with razor-sharp focus of flavor and purity. Huge in structure with perfect balance and interplay between the elements, and a long lingering aftertaste on notes of tropical fruits, sugar coated apples, and walnuts. Ripe and balanced with all the hallmarks of greatness - incredible detail as far as the sweetness goes, and with mind numbing intensity. This wine has never let me down. 96 points 


> 1989 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark yellow. Scents of marzipan and petroleum. I always get the petroleum scent from this wine, and as such it was easy to identify. Intense and botrytis packed with a wide range of flavors such as that of strawberries, apricot, and honey - all wrapped in a thick cloth of glycerin and oil. Big in all aspects. Very intense and dense on the palate with a huge and long aftertaste that never seemed to finish. Exceptionally well balanced for a wine with this kind of concentration. Great in every way. 
96 points 


> 1988 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France Yquem, 1988, 1989, 1990

Picture: Yquem 1988, 1989, 1990

Dark yellow color. Strong scents of apricot coming out of the glass. Strong and powerful in the mouth with huge and perfectly ripe, botrytis-ladden fruit. The sweetness was never cloying but rather super well defined and the ripe acid ensured perfect freshness. Brilliantly structured with awesome density and concentration of fruit. On many occasions this wine has been my favorite of the trilogy - today it was hard to pick a favorite. Needless to say, this is in every sense a near perfect wine and I have never been disappointed by it. The aftertaste echoed out after 2 or so minutes on notes of apricot peel, pears, and roasted nuts. Textbook Yquem. 96 points 


> 1987 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Hay brown/yellow. Fresh and crisp scents of pine needles. Lush, medium to light bodied with delicious flavors of apricot and other fruits, pleasant and forward in nature with good freshness and purity. Very harmonious and delicate with good, well contained sweetness of flavor. Excellent interplay between all elements and no hard edges on the aftertaste. Really good, actually. 89 points 


livre de cave, d'Yquem tasting

> 1986 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Deep, dark yellow color (normally this wine is very light in the glass). Initially there were some off-putting scents of sulphur, but thankfully that quickly vanished. Very intense on the palate with wonderful grip and presence and detailed, clear flavors of fruit (I could swear I noted flavors of apple). An intense core of fruit serves to disperse the delicious, sweet but not cloying flavors in a well structured fashion. Wonderful balance and freshness with good complexity and depth and a long aftertaste. Excellent. 

94 points 



> 1985 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Matte light brown yellow color. Scents of brown sugar/molasses and burnt vanilla (crème brûlée). The wine had a slightly bitter character and a somewhat weedy texture. Light-bodied and lacking definition and personality. The fruit did convey some interesting flavors and relatively pleasant nuances such as vanilla, pudding, and honey, and the aftertaste was actually surprisingly good, especially considering the initial bitterness. Not bad, not great. 84 points 


> 1984 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark yellow color. Scents of butter frying on a hot pan. Nice rich and lush texture with precise and delicate sweetness of flavor. Wonderful balance and style and full of character, this wine has a unique and very attractive profile in that the flavors include many red-wine nuances such as coffee and cappuccino inter-mixed with classic Yquem apricot. Medium long, pleasant and harmonious finish. Nice. 
90 points 


> 1983 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark yellow color. Scents of apple peal. Incredibly fresh and crisp


 with perfect, ripe fruit entering most impressively on the palate. Great concentration and density of fruit with gorgeous flavors of acacia honey, toasted bread, walnuts, and peaches all playing in harmony. In spite of the obvious (large) size of this wine, all elements were in perfect harmony with the aftertaste echo-ing out on notes of flavors similar to that of the primary taste impression. Serious. 96 points 


> 1982 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France vigne chateau Yquem, Sauternes Barsac France

Dark, golden yellow color. Initially, this wine displayed a strange bouquet - mostly on a plastic note. That seemed to vanish with air, but throughout the night this wine remained strangely closed. The taste of the wine was another matter. Wonderfully sweet and crisp in the mouth with an excellent display of ripe, yet subtle fruit. Delicate in spite of a high amount of concentration. Good levels of complexity and a smooth, rounded aftertaste. Very nice and if the bouquet had been better the grade would have been higher. 90 points 


> 1981 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark yellow bordering on amber colored. This wine had the bouquet of a red wine. Very smokey - almost like a Côte Rôtie. Medium bodied with a really nice flavor of nougat and milk chocolate coupled with roasted almonds and hazelnut. Good harmony and balance with interesting layers of fruit and a smooth, round character. Good density and viscosity with a texture not quite oily, but flowy and delicious. Very good. 91 points


> 1980 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light amber color. Scents of almonds and burned toast. Good initial palate attack with awesome flavors of cane sugar, molasses, (perhaps even an undertone of rum), with the classic and inevitable apricot note hovering somewhere in the vicinity. Superb grip and focus with a crisp, steely beam of acid up the middle for added freshness. This wine drinks very well right now. Long, intense and complex on the aftertaste. Excellent 93 points 


> 1979 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

From magnum. Dark, clear yellow color. The bouquet revealed notes of apple peal (of the Granny Smith kind). Nice texture with well contained and detailed sweetness of flavor, though somehow obstructed by some measure of bitterness overall. Not much complexity and depth here, but in a sense the wine is quite pleasant with the botrytis sweetness carrying through. Somewhat bitter on the aftertaste as well. 86 points 


> 1978 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Medium yellow color. Deep scents of crème brûlée. Very smooth and harmonious in texture with nice details and focus, sweetness, albeit un-remarkable in the grand scheme of things. Mind you, this wine is very approachable now and as as such provides for excellent drinking. Good harmony and balance with good if not intense flavors and a harmonious finish rounding things up. Quite good. 88 points 



> 1977 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Deep, medium yellow color. Scents of rubber, tea, and dandelion. Yes, really a weird bouquet. The mouth feel was very nice with a good palate attack and tactile sensations the result. Lovely flavors of cocoa, nougat, and marmalade with good elegance and style and a fine light-on-its-feet body. Completely seamless and very pleasant, if not a remarkably concentrated and complex wine. Medium to short aftertaste. Nice. 87 points 

> 1976 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France degustation yquem, Sauternes Barsac France

Picture: Yquem 1975, 1976, 1983

Light to medium yellow color in the glass. Looked un-evolved. Scents of apple peal and toast. Wonderful sweetness of flavor with complete transparency and incredible detail. Large bodied with huge structure and endless layers of depth and complexity. Brutally intense and dense with laser-focus, a perfect blend of size and style and a finish for the history books. 2 minutes at least. Near perfection. 98 points 

> 1975 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Deep, clear, medium yellow color. This bottle is tied for the best 75 Yquem I have had. No need to conceal the excitement. This wine was perfect. Grand bouquet on notes of peaches, walnuts, honey, and rum. Fat, oily and smooth in texture with stupendous, brutal intensity and wonderful harmony in perfect tune. Fresh, crisp and full of character with mind numbing complexity and an unbelievable after taste. In actual fact, I'm finding it hard to write a tasting note that does this wine justice. I sat with my eyes closed as the wine echoed out on the 2 and a half minute aftertaste, and tried to collect my thoughts, but it was as if the wine took me on a journey. As if I was there in the vineyards of Yquem on a warm September night. They say that 100 points is an emotion. 100 points 


> 1973 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark, amber color. In fact, the appearance of the wine was somewhat alarming. Scents of cheese, and wet card board, and locker room. Sweet on the with surprisingly good flavors and structure considering the off-putting bouquet. Slightly anonymous in character and seems to lack some weight. Granted, the taste of the wine is quite good, but overall this wine was somewhat un-focused and diffuse. Good points for taste, though. 84 points 


attack yquem, Lur Saluces

> 1971 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France   

yquem, Comte de Lur SalucesLightamber color. Wonderful and intense scents of rose petals and toasted bread. Superb definition and balance with dense and concentrated fruit, contained in a well-defined structure. Fresh and crisp with excellent grip and harmony as well as a delightfully forward nature with good complexity and depth. Great and long aftertaste on notes of figs, apricot and almonds. A marvellous wine. 94 points 

> 1970 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light amber colored/brown. Scents of vanilla and apricot. Slightly thin in the mouth, but nice and delicate albeit introverted, bordering on watery. Structurally this wine has a lot of things going for it. However, there could have been more concentration and certainly more complexity here. The aftertaste did possess a nice, sweet vanilla fused character, but it also got bitter. 84 points 

> 1969 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light amber colored. Scents of burnt vanilla and toasted almonds. Fresh and crisp in the mouth with lovely roundness of flavor and a light-on-its-feet characteristic. Harmonious and tasty on a spicy and vibrant note. Superbly elegant with good complexity and a smooth finish. My best ever 1969 Bordeaux. 
91 points 

> 1968 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark amber colored. Scents of gasolene furniture wax, apricot, and shoe polish. Good density at the core with faint flavor echoes of apricot. Echoes is where it ends though, as this wine has a simple and somewhat thin general composition with a bitter finish. I monitored this wines evolution in the glass for quite a while, and the taste seemed to morph from fresh branches into shoe polish. 80 points 


> 1967 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light amber colored. Scents of butter and smoky bacon with strong apricot nuances inter-weaving. Unfathomably dense and concentrated with layers and layers of fruit, stuffing, power, complexity, elegance, and a gorgeous compote of flavor components. This is a thinking man's wine. Thought provoking, yet hedonistic. Elegant and delicate, yet a power-house. I felt like I was possessed while drinking this wine. There were absolutely no cloying tendencies, but rather a crisp, vivacious and mouth-cleansing texture that delivered the aftertaste in glorious style. So much style, character, and personality. The first time I had this wine I rated it 99+ points. Add a point to that, and we have the score on this bottle. It really was perfect. 
100 points 

> 1966 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France Yquem 1966, etiquette

Alarmingly dark brown. Looked like liquid brown sugar in the glass. Initially the wine was firmly closed on the nose, so I let it rest for a minute. Gradually the bouquet opened up on notes of raisins and orange peel. I don't really know what I was expecting from this wine, but I must say that I was shocked to learn how concentrated, intense, perfectly alive, and dizzying complex this wine was. With style and grace not really at the forefront, this wine was a power-house of intense flavors of raisins and prunes, mixed in the brown sugar. Yet, this wine was not diluted marmalade It was structured and firm at the skeleton and perfectly mature for drinking with crème brulée. Wonderful. 97 points 

> 1965 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light amber color. Scents of gun-powder and cabbage. Nice fatness with excellent harmony and a crisp delivery. Flavors of honey, pudding, and tropical fruits. Did I say scents of cabbage..? Well, it was not an off-putting scent, but rather that of cabbage fried in butter with a nutty flavor to it. Excellent length with good dimensions and a well-defined aftertaste

89 points  

> 1963 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark brown. Looked like cough syrup or sherry. Scents of butter oxidized. It seemed as though this wine was taking its last gasps of air before exhaling for the last time. As such the wine was not completely dead, but close to it. 60 points 

> 1962 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

etiquette yquem 1962In the glass the wine looked like liquid brown sugar. Roasted walnuts and hazelnuts on the nose. Gloriously powerful and intense with huge structure and definition. Concentrated and complex flavors of prunes, figs, papaya, and other tropical fruits. A wine perfect with food. Fresh and vibrant with great purity and delicacy. Perfectly crisp and clean on the balanced and sugar-fused aftertaste. Loved it. 95 points 

> 1961 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light brown/amber color. Somewhat closed on the nose with no apparent intention of opening up. Flavors of tea, bitter grapes fruit, and dark chocolate. This wine is quite good with food, but does not transcend a Sauternes profile well, as there is little in the way of botrytized sweetness. Stand alone, out of context this wine is quite nice, though. 

85 points 

Chateau d'Yquem, Sauternes Barsac France, 1961, 1971, 1981

Picture: Yquem 1961, 1971, 1981

> 1960 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Deep, brown color. Scents of menthol and acetone with faint whiffs of apple peel. Adequate sweetness in a marmalade kind of way. Initially quite fresh and lively, however the wine faded quickly. Seemed to lack a little in style and personality on the aftertaste. Ultimately an un-spectacular wine. 
85 points

Yquem 1960

> 1959 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Coca Cola colored. Closed. After about 30 minutes the wine opened up with slightly worrying signs of oxidization. This eventually blew off, and notes of toasted almonds emerged. Velvet-like and luxurious texture. Very, very sweet in taste and most definitely a wine that should be paired with adequate food. The towering sweetness nearly knocked the wine out of balance. I have had this wine once before where it was nearly perfect. This bottle was great but not out in the stratosphere. With air the sweetness was better contained. 91 points 


> 1957 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Brown color. Scents of chlorine, almonds and marzipan. Light bodied and adequately structured in the mouth with with a nice, round chocolate caramel flavor profile, encapsulated by a viscous lather of fat glycerin. Light bodied with good structure and harmony, but ultimately not enough under-lying material to generate real excitement. After 45 minutes in the glass the wine faded quickly. 85 points 

> 1955 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Visually this wine reminded me of coffee. Intense scents of smoked bacon powered out of the glass. Stupendously complex bouquet. Wonderfully smooth and delineated in the mouth with lots of power and concentration. Big in structure and definition with layers and layers of complexity. Lots of finesse and style, and great harmony with a lovely interplay between elements. Long, long aftertaste on notes of brown sugar, apricot peel, and mango chutney. Wonderful. 96 points 

> 1954 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light brown color. Somewhat closed on the nose. Deliciously smooth and velvet-like in texture with detailed, fresh sweetness and a crisp delivery. Well defined and light bodied in weight with an interesting tree bark flavor. This wine held up in the glass quite well, and the aftertaste seemed quite symmetrical and harmonious. After 120 minutes the wine turned slightly bitter. Very nice. 87 points 


Picture: Yquem 1950, 1953


> 1953 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France Yquem 1950, 1953, Sauternes Barsac

Dark mahogany colored in the glass. Wonderful and intriguing scents of mint and mint leaves coming out of the glass. Very complex and pure with an excellent crisp grip. Extremely well balanced and cool in nature with an interesting array of layers and a solid backbone of ripe acid. Great aftertaste on notes of papaya, raisins and cappuccino. Never faded in the glass. 93 points 

> 1950 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark brown color. Visually this wine looked hot. But hold the phone. There were delicious and intense scents of vanilla and toasted almonds coming out of the glass. Surprising and absolutely lovely texture. I have had this wine once before where it was anything but vinous. This bottle was quite different. Good, oily fatness with flavors of walnuts inter-mixed with coffee and sugar, delivered with a solid, crisp punch on the palate. Well structured and never shaky with a complex, long aftertaste on notes of apricot and wet plastic. Really nice. 

91 points 



Picture: Yquem 1949

> 1949 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Medium golden, amber colored. Scents of candy, pepper, and camphor. Dense and tight core of fruit with a subdued hint of bitter dark chocolate. Very sophisticated and elegant with medium body and great poise. A lovely, food friendly wine that could pair well with a savory dish. Excellent depth with interesting dimensions and a spacious, fluffy vanilla-fused aftertaste. Very good. 89 points 


d'Yquem 1949, Sauternes Barsac

> 1947 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Chateau Yquem 1947Picture: Yquem 1947

Dark brown color. Explosive bouquet on notes of apricot, strawberry, and roasted nuts. Unbelievably youthful. In a blind tasting this wine could be mistaken for a 2001 as far as the crispness goes. Absolutely mind-numbingly intense and perfectly balanced with a 100% mouth filling flow and a luxurious, viscous motion on its way South. Big and powerful - almost too powerful - with huge complexity and a 3 minute aftertaste. It's hard to find words that adequately describe the greatness of this wine. This bottle was simply firing on all cylinders. An honour to be treated to this wine. 100 points 

> 1945 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France Yquem 1945, etiquette

Re-corked in 2002. Dark amber color. Incredible, intense bouquet in notes of brown sugar and molasses with underlying notes of coffee and espresso. Very dense core of fruit with a surplus of energy and complexity, well-contained in a brilliant structure with laser focus. This wine effortlessly fills out all corners of the mouth with intense flavors of nutty oil, peanut butter, and tropical fruits. 2 minute aftertaste with wonderful complexity and layers of material. Beyond great. 

97 points 


> 1944 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark brown color in the glass. Scents of brown sugar. Strong and intense in the mouth with lots of power and concentration. Unbelievably dense in taste with an explosive core of ripe fruit and textbook structure. Excellent grip and persistence with flavors of ripe plums and prunes. Long, long aftertaste with evolving layers and thought provoking complexity. Great, not in a restrained fashion but not over-powering either. Perfectly balanced. 97 points 


verre de chateau Yquem

> 1943 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Deep, dark brown color. Scents of crème brûlée coming out of the glass. Delightful flavors of orange and chocolate truffle. Light on its feet and well crafted with good levels of glycerin. Somewhat out of balance with an element of bitterness dominating the aftertaste. Interestingly, the wine is quite straight forward and pleasurable with good texture, yet the aftertaste seems to not tag on perfectly. Fairly good on its own, but the company was too tough in the night. 86 points 




Picture: Yquem 1944

> 1941 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark brown color. Scents of apricot and orange peel. Very nice sweetness and liveliness with plush texture and lots of botrytis. Well crafted and defined with a wonderful purity of flavor on notes of burnt nuts and wood with fruit nuances mixed in. Well balanced and proportioned with a lively and vibrant aftertaste

Very nice. 89 points 


> 1939 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark sherry colored in the glass. Scents of peach and plums with a faint touch of oxidation. Intensely sweet with fat fruit and excellent depth. Very well defined with ample acid balancing out the sweetness. As for flavor, this wine had a lot to offer including a strong brown sugar component coupled with notes of tree sap. Superb length and complexity with a long, smooth aftertaste. For some reason the initial oxidization did not contribute to make the wine flawed. 
92 points 


> 1938 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark amber color. Scents of rose petals. Extremely juicy and fresh with ripe, round acid and layers of fruit. Great structure and a very youthful character. Flavors of cinnamon, organic cane sugar, and molasses with a coffee character underneath. This wine was superb with food (veal). I had this wine in the glass for 3 hours and only at the very end of that period did the wine fade slightly. Overall, this was a great bottle. Very classy with a long aftertaste. 93 points 


Chateau d'Yquem 1937

> 1937 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark brown color. Huge scents roaring out of the glass. Acetone, Camphor, wheat, fruit peel, honey, vanilla, burnt wood, and.... well, I could keep singling out nuances that somehow seemed to make the bouquet larger than the sum of its parts. In the mouth the wine was incredibly intense and concentrated and youthful like a 2001. The wine was fat and had an incredible taste of rhubarb compote fused with apricot, and passion fruit. Like liquid passion fruit mousse. Gigantic in structure with all ingredients perfectly streamlined and defined. Drinking this wine was an emotional experience - one that I will never forget. I guess that in many respects this tasting note is somewhat predictable, but let me assure you that every effort was taken to give fair, critical judgement. That said, I had to let down my guard. Does the note reflect that..? 100 points 


> 1936 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark brown chestnut color. Scents of vanilla and orange peel. In the mouth, this wine was flawed. Somewhere between corked and shot. NR 


> 1934 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light Coca Cola colored. Brilliant scents of Arabian Tea, and mint. Sweet, intense and concentrated in flavor on notes of prunes, walnuts, honey, and plums with wonderfully youthful spicy acid and without cloying. A wine great with food, or solo, with superb precision of delivery, style, grace and character. Long aftertaste with great depth and purity. Very, very good. 93 points 


> 1929 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark brown color. Stupendously complex nose of pear peel, walnuts, acacia honey, brown sugar, and almonds - even displaying notes of frying butter and smoke. Luxuriously textured with a smooth glaze of mouth coating, fat ripe and mature fruit and an incredibly delicate taste of coffee and cappuccino. This wine was so incredibly full of finesse and style, while displaying awesome power, structure and staying power. Like a 10 year old well stored bottle. Vivacious and crisp with an aftertaste buttered toast, marzipan, and apricot. An emotional and earth shattering experience. In a couple of words; simply one of the best wines I have ever tasted. 100 points 


Picture: Yquem 1929, 1937

> 1928 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Coca Cola brown color in the glass. Scents of rubber soles. Fat, dense and oily with flavors of hay and wheat. As the wine evolved in the glass it took on a bizarre, twisted character with strange medicinal flavors to follow. Additionally, the wine lacked purity and freshness. 83 points 


Chateau Yquem 1929, 1237


> 1926 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light amber colored. Somewhat closed on the notes with a slightly off-putting hint of fungus on the nose. After some time in the glass notes of acetone appeared. In the mouth the wine was somewhat wishy-washy - somewhat dry and flat with little in the way of sweet and fat fruit. Granted, the wine was still drinkable and maybe even in good shape, but the most prominent flavor component was that of warm grass. 80 points 


> 1924 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Dark brown color. Oxidized beyond repair. Awful taste of local brew. 50 points or 

NR - your choice. 


Yquem 1926, Comte de Lur Saluces, Sauternes Barsac

> 1921 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France (Van Der Meulen Bottling) 

d'Yquem 1921Picture: Yquem 1921

Light brown color. Wonderful scents of tea and herbs, with a unique and interesting underlying note of Fourme d'Ambert cheese. Light bodied with delicious freshness, but ultimately lacking that huge structure and velvetlike texture of top tier Yquem. Fresh and vivid with ripe acid and good flavor definition, albeit not a wine of razor sharp precision of delivery. A perfectly good bottle, however, once again there's a mile between a well stored Château bottling and bottlings by even such reputable companies as Van Der Meulen. 89 points 


> 1919 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Light amber/beer colored. Scents of mussels, oysters, sea food, and sea water, with added scents of glue and paint. The taste of this wine was hard to appreciate playing on such undesirable components as eel, and rotten water. 60 points 


1919, 1939, 1969, Château d'Yquem, Sauternes Barsac


Picture: Yquem 1919, 1939, 1969

> 1918 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France (Van Der Meulen Bottling) 

Dark brown. The nose was off by a mile, displaying hints of rotten cheese and sherry. Un-noteworhty. 58 points 


bouchon de cire pour le vin

> 1914 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Deep, medium dark amber color. Delightful scents of camphor, and the good acetone. Brilliantly light on its feet, yet possessing ample power and intensity. Elegant and stylish with nice delicacy and a good, complex layer of fruit and sweetness, all contained in a smooth glove of silk. The aftertaste was somewhat short, but this wine was very much alive, and an excellent companion for food. 87 points 


> 1906 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Recorked and re-labelled in 2002. The bouquet roared out of the glass from the get go. Big scents of tropical fruits, crushed almonds and wet plastic. In the mouth the wine was big and intense, like liquid brown sugar, only delicate, delicious, and delivered with a youthful punch like that of a ten year old wine. Huge structure with layers of depth and complexity and brute force. The aftertaste was hard to wash away, and why would you. This wine was a real eye opener and a crowd favorite for good reason. One of those "great bottles". 96 points 


Yquem 1891, Sauternes Barsac France

Picture: Yquem 1891

> 1891 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France 

Deep, dark brown color with no murk. Scents of cane sugar and molasses. Wonderful, crisp sweetness and gobs of fat, pure botrytis packed fruit with searing acid - yes 100 years on, and the wine was fresh as can be. Minty in flavor with added tropical fruit notes and glorious complexity. A great wine. 91 points 


Etiquette de chateau Yquem 1891

> 1847 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France (Bottled at Glorup Estate by FW. Hyllested, Denmark) 

Picture: Yquem 1847

Bottle Yquem 1847It is very possible that renowned Danish poet and fairy tale writer HC Andersen has had 1847 Yquem from the same barrel that this bottle originated from. The poet liked to spend his time at the Glorup Estate in the Danish countryside, and as wine aficionados from Denmark will tell you, Yquem was one of HC Andersen's favorite wines (along with Pommard, if I am not mistaken). At any rate, this wine was dark brown in color with scents of powdered sugar and camphor coming out of the glass. Quite lean and austere with a funky taste of boiled mushrooms or something to that effect. By no means a dead wine, but ultimately more of a curiosity than a Hedonist's delight. 75 points 



Yquem 1847, Lur Saluces, Sauternes Barsac

Picture: Yquem 1847


verre de chateau Yquem

Sincerely, Joe Belmaati, Copenhagen Denmark

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Joe Belmaati writes about himself
Joe Belmaati I am a 37 year old wine enthusiast from Denmark. My passion for wine was sparked by me attending some high profile business dinners in conjunction with my work. By profession I am a song writer and music producer. I began collecting wine some years ago, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to join CTG (Copenhagen Tasting Group) which is a closed circle of 9 wine enthusiasts who strive for nothing but the best. Our group frequently organizes closed tastings of high quality. My approach to wine is one of equal enjoyment and analysis. Fortunately, one never gets in the way of the other. My favorite wines are the White wines of Burgundy, and currently my cellar contains more white wine than red wine!


As for my work I have received the coveted Ivor Novello award for song writing, and currently my credits as a producer include 7 number one hits on the official UK chart, and 34 Top Ten singles. I have worked with and for artists such as Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, Christina Aguilera, and Mary J. Blige. 




1975 Divine! - 100
1967 Divine! - 100
1947 Divine! - 100
1937 Divine! - 100
1929 Divine! - 100

1976 Awesome - 98
1990 mg.Awesome - 97
1966 Awesome - 97
1945 Awesome - 97
1944 Awesome - 97
1990 Awesome - 96
1989 Awesome - 96
1988 Awesome - 96
1983 Awesome - 96
1955 Awesome - 96
1906 Awesome - 96

1996 Remarkable - 95
1962 Remarkable - 95
1986 Remarkable - 94
1971 Remarkable - 94
1980 Remarkable - 93
1953 Remarkable - 93
1938 Remarkable - 93
1934 Remarkable - 93
2000 Remarkable - 92
1939 Remarkable - 92
1997 Remarkable - 91
1981 Remarkable - 91
1969 Remarkable - 91
1959 Remarkable - 91
1950 Remarkable - 91
1891 Remarkable - 91

1991 Excellent - 90
1984 Excellent - 90
1982 Excellent - 90
1998 Excellent - 89
1987 Excellent - 89
1965 Excellent - 89
1949 Excellent - 89
1941 Excellent - 89
1921 Excellent - 89

1999 Very good - 88
1994 Very good - 88
1978 Very good - 88
1977 Very good - 87
1954 Very good - 87
1914 Very good - 87
1979 Very good - 86
1943 Very good - 86

1961 Nice - 85
1960 Nice - 85
1957 Nice - 85
1985 Nice - 84
1973 Nice - 84
1970 Nice - 84
1993 Nice - 83
1928 Nice - 83

1968 Disappointing - 80
1926 Disappointing - 80

1847 Tired - 75
1963 Tired - 60
1919 Tired - 60
1918 Tired - 58

Flawed bottles



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