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Château d’Yquem 2017, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2003, 1997 & 1996

August 18, 2022

In a repeat of an all-Château d’Yquem dinner previously held in 2018, Grace very kindly organised another at the same venue on 01 August 2022, getting Nicolas to open his restaurant specially for us (when he is normally closed on Mondays). It is certainly possible to pair Sauternes with an entire meal without necessarily including foie gras, as we did very well with pasta, seafood and Bresse chicken. The wines speak for themselves. The 2009 is truly outstanding, as is the 1996 whilst the 2010 remains stubbornly tight. And do not forget Château Climens; if at all, the leading premier cru of Barsac, given its lighter touch and agility, goes even better with food. Many thanks, Grace and Nicolas, for your immense generosity and to all for your lovely contributions.

2017 “Y” d’Yquem, several bottles courtesy of Dr Ngoi and Winfred. Pale. Profusion of fig and nectarine within an effusive white sheen with a further note of jackfruit on the palate, showing fine density with restrained elegance and understated intensity, opening up with shimmering supple detail in the glass.

2017 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Poured from magnum. Highly luminous, exuding a superb glow of fresh nectarine and apricot. Wonderfully fresh on the palate, not overly luscious, showing great integral velvety presence in its even tone and linearity. Supremely confident and regal.

2014 Château d’Yquem. Restrained nose of nectarine amidst a distinct note of egg white, slightly reductive. Very cleanly structured and precise, somewhat lean in almonds and golden citrus though it offers fine definition and good clarity, not at all luscious.

2011 Château Climens. Enticing aromas of vanillin, white fruits and incense. Highly slick and agile in its refined acidity, avoiding any hint of heaviness on the medium-full palate already imbued with early secondary characters of fresh lychees and honeyed tones that teased with deft fleeting intensity. Very different in style from Château d’Yquem of the same vintage, distinctly more feminine. A fascinating comparison between the best of Barsac and the best of Sauternes.

2011 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Peter Tan. Rather elusive on the nose, subtly seductive though decidedly more weighty on the palate with an even expanse of fresh nectarine, peaches and white tones that taper with excellent linearity to a long smooth glowing finish marked by a dash of understated minerals.

2010 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Edward. Quite deeply coloured. Profusion of nectarine and apricot with a fullish forward intensity, layered with luscious honeyed tones. Still rather tight and primal. Huge potential, but it needs time to sort itself out.

2009 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Gisela. Luminous golden hue. Superb on the nose, evoking a smoky hedonistic sweetness that contrasted beautifully against the distinct minerally tones within its refined mid-body, displaying intense youthful power with tremendous precision and integration, opening up later with fine clarity. Outstanding.

2008 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Winfred. Luminous gold. Appreciably more mature than expected with a profusion of apricot and orange peels. Medium-bodied, showing good density, its luscious ripe fruit finely balanced against an equal measure of very refined ferrous elements that finished in a slightly peaty glow.

2003 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Soo Kian. Honeyed tones and nectarine dominate with a discernible pebbly warmth. Medium-full. Rather weighty, somewhat autumnal in its brooding intensity, displaying a hint of early maturity towards its attenuated finish.

1997 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Tsun Yan. Poured from magnum. Very deeply coloured, proffering an outstanding bouquet of exotic fumes and petroleum characters. Medium-bodied. Still imbued with great acidity though the fruit, fully mature, is set slightly backward amid medicinal overtones that lent an after note of exotic spice.

1996 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Sanjay. Poured from magnum. Deeply coloured. Deep effusive glow of mature nectarine, apricot and cinnamon with a dash of orange peel, producing an intoxicating peaty lift. Medium-bodied, displaying lovely integration of fruit and sublime acidity within its layers with a pronounced intensity at its core. Became even more integral and refined after another two hours, smoothening out with tremendous elegance, just a tad short at its spicy finish. Outshone the 1997.

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