Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes 2006
Other Dessert from Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
Discovering Chateau d'Yquem 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 toast aromas). Older vintages, on the other hand, have an extradordinarily complex fragrance as soon as the bottle is opened.
The bouquet is amazingly subtle, with hints of dried fruit (dried apricot, prune, stewed fruit, and marmalade), spice (cinnamon, saffron, and liquorice), and even flowers (linden blosson, etc).
The first impression of Chateau d'Yquem on the palate is always silky, and often sumptuous. It then fills out, "coating the palate". This 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).
The Wine Advocate - "While no surprise here, this wine, which will be bottled in 2009, is certainly this estate's greatest effort since their 2001. It completely outclasses everything from the appellation, but even when you're number one, that's often hard to do. This light gold wine offers up a sensational smorgasbord of aromas including huge honeyed pineapple and other caramelized tropical fruit flavors, massive richness, and a viscous, unctuous texture with the oak beautifully integrated. The wine has enough acidity to buttress its full-bodied mouthfeel, but this is not by any means the sweetest or most alcoholic of the d’Yquems I have tasted. In fact, in the range of d’Yquems, this is a powerful wine, but it is one built more on finesse and elegance, a la the 1988. Nevertheless, this wine will prove to have 50+ years of longevity. The finish, the mid-palate, the sensation of looking at a skyscraper of Semillon with a small dosage of Sauvignon, is impressive. Like all of the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes, one can drink this young, but the nuances and complexities really don't emerge for at least a decade, especially in the case of a wine such as this. Bravo! Range: 96-98+ "
Wine Enthusiast - "This is the rich wine of the vintage. With its intensen fruit, piles of spice, but excellent balance, this promises flavors of baked apples and intense dried fruits. The botrytis layer is discreet, a hint rather than overpowering.
Barrel Sample: 94-96 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Medium bright yellow, quite pale for 2006. Wonderfully fresh aromas of pineapple, coconut, caramel, vanilla and spices lifted by a floral element. Silky on entry, then dense but almost magically light on its feet, thanks to penetrating acidity that gives sharp definition to the tight, impressively concentrated lemon, pineapple and coconut flavors. Racy rather than thick, and almost painfully young today. Finishes with a captivating note of beurre sale A wonderfully pure and refined wine for 2006, but this really needs time in bottle to knit."
Wine Spectator - "This has turned creamy, with peach, apricot and tangerine notes caressed by heather honey and picking up a tangy green tea note on the finish. Long and very stylish. Drink now through 2012."
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Chateau d'Yquem Winery
In 1993, Château d'Yquem celebrated 400 years of ownership by the same family. In 1593, the Sauvage family bought this estate which came into the Lur Saluces patrimony when Francoise Joséphine de Sauvage married Count Louis Amédée de Lur Saluces in 1785. Marquis Bertrand de Lur Saluces was one of the 20th century's most important personalities in the world of wine.
Count Alexandre de Lur Saluces has followed in his Uncle Betrand's footsteps since 1968. Highly motivated to perfect this prestigious product while respecting tradition, he is determined to offer maximum quality. All those who love this inimitable wine, from Jefferson to Pamela Harriman, former U.S. Ambassador, by way of great Duke Constantine, have approved this philosophy from vintage to vintage.
Yquem is the result of painstaking efforts by everyone who works on the estate. However, nature is the major factor in making the most of the rare soil of Yquem. View all Chateau d'Yquem Wines
About Sauternes and BarsacView a map of Sauternes and Barsac wineries (saw-TURN & BAR-sak)
The regions of Sauternes & Barsac are both located southeast of Graves, almost directly south of St-Émilion, and hug the Garonne River as it curves. Both areas are dedicated to producing sweet, white wines. The rains, the mists, the humidity and the climate, all help foster the necessary mold that leads to the unfortified, but lusciously sweet wines produced there.
Semillon is the primary grape here as it takes well to bortrytis, also known as "noble rot." Sauvignon Blanc is used in the blend to add acidity to the richer, thicker Semillon. The process for making the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac is long, labored and costly. After it has reached maximum ripeness, the Semillon grapes are left on the vine until they are infected with botrytis. This helpful mold then shrivels the grapes, concentrating the sugars but maintaining the acids. Weather is not always agreeable and berries must be picked at just the right moment, all by hand. The grapes yield less juice than dry wines, due to their shriveled and concentrated state. Some houses, like the famed Chateau d'Yquem, will not make a wine in a less-than-perfect year. All these factors lead to highly prized, and often expensive, wine. However, the taste is well worth it. In the palate the wines of Sauternes & Barsac are luscious and sweet, yet with the balanced acidity to keep them from being too cloying or candied.Wines with the Sauternes AC must be sweet - dry wines are labeled under the Graves or Bordeaux AC. Barsac wines may be labeled either Barsac AC or Sauternes AC. Typically, Barsac wines are a little lighter in body and less intense than Sauternes.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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