Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes 2005
Other Dessert from Sauternes and Barsac, Bordeaux, France
The 2001 vintage of this wine was ranked #10 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2005
Lovely, brilliant, golden-yellow color. Concentrated nose of apricot compote, dried fruit, and figs with vanilla and floral (jasmine and acacia blossom) aromas. The bouquet opens up after swirling in the glass to reveal extremely fresh citrus zest overtones that emphasize the wine's subtle refinement.
2005 Yquem starts out deliciously suave and caressing on the palate, with perfect balance. The fresh acidity and elegance complement the wine's restrained power, giving it incredible class.
There are strong flavors of gingerbread, orange nonette cakes and licorice followed by a gorgeous acid tang that underpins the wine's beautiful, long aftertaste on a par with the chateau's most illustrious vintages. The tremendously varied and complex flavors all seem to vibrate on the same wavelength, melting into a subtle whole.
Wine Spectator - "This has a deliciously pure feel, with juicy, inviting green plum, ginger, heather, creamed pineapple and Jonagold apple flavors all melded together and gliding through the lengthy finish, which echoes with lilting flowers and dried citrus notes. Best from 2015 through 2045."
The Wine Advocate - "Tasted at the château, the 2005 Chateau d’Yquem delivers a similar performance as last year. Lucid in colour, the bouquet is detailed with very pure honey, vanilla and almond scents, still a little new oak to be fully assimilated but demonstrating superb focus. The palate is virtually identical to last year's bottle: exquisite balance and perfectly judged acidity, but perhaps just gaining a little richness and viscosity over the last 12 months. There is an appealing completeness to this Yquem and whilst I would not place it amongst the likes of 2001 or 2009, it comfortably sits just behind."
Wine Enthusiast - "This isn't sweet, but just so wonderfully rich. It’s the concentration of botrytis that makes the wine. The texture is velvet, but with a spicy bite to it. Apricot, honey and marzipan all contribute to a wine that will age over decades."
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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. Adter 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 yeild less juice than dry wines, due to their shriveled and concentrated state. Some houses, like the famed Chateau 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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