CHÂTEAU D'YQUEM - Sauternes 1996 (375ml)
“I do not call Yquem a wine because there are an infinite number of “wines” as such, but Yquem is unique. I prefer the word nectar – the drink of the gods – and if I found one that was more noble, I would be less ashamed of our restrictive vocabulary so poorly suited to superlatives.”
"The classic Sauternes wine has an intense golden colour (darker than most other dessert wines), which turns a deep amber as it ages in bottle. The aromas include blossom and stone fruit, with a hint of honeysuckle – the trademark of botrytized wines. The best wines balance sweetness with acidity, concentration with freshness, and power with elegance. This is nectar of the gods, Supreme Sauternes!"
The weather was hot and dry throughout much of the growing season, except for 2 weeks of unexpectedly cool temperatures in September that made for the ideal ripening of grapes that were already in superb condition. Rain arrived at just the right time and soon after it was time to harvest a very homogeneous crop. This textbook vintage epitomises Yquem's balance, elegance, and sheer class!
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.
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.
Great wines are not born just anywhere, by accident. A unique set of climatic and geological conditions combine to form a rare equilibrium.
This is undoubtedly the case at Yquem, which epitomises all that is best about the singular wine growing environment in Sauternes. CHÂTEAU D'YQUEM's topsoil is warm and dry, accumulating heat thanks to smooth flat pebbles and coarse gravel. The clay subsoil contains good water reserves and there are numerous springs on the estate. Drainage pipes were installed some time ago to prevent waterlogging (100 km of drains since the 19th century).
Yquem's large size made it possible to plant 113 hectares of vines on a very representative sampling of the rich tapestry of the Sauternes region's soil types. This extraordinary variety of soils is a key factor in the quality and complexity of CHÂTEAU D'YQUEM.
Vendor (Misc) / Vineyard (Wines): CHATEAU D'YQUEM