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Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (375ML half-bottle) 2011

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    0% ABV
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    4.7 6 Ratings
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    4.7 6 Ratings
      0% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      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 toasty aromas). Older vintages, on the other hand, have an extraordinarily 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 licorice), and even flowers (linden blossom, etc.). The first impression on the palate is always very silky, and often sumptuous. It then fills out, "coating the palate." This fine 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).

      Critical Acclaim

      All Vintages
      WS 99
      Wine Spectator
      A lovely, creamy, tropical style, with mango, papaya and guava notes lending a caressing feel, while singed almond and warm piecrust accents blossom through the lush finish. Just when you think that's all there is, toasted coconut, fig, orange blossom and persimmon details kick in, lending length and dimension. The finish is ridiculously long. Best from 2020 through 2060.
      V 98
      Vinous
      Luminous golden yellow. Cool, pure aromas of white peach, honeyed mango, guava nectar, white flowers and saffron are complicated by elements of crushed stone and spicy lemony botrytis. Suave and intensely flavored, with mineral-spiced apple, mango, passion fruit and grapefruit flavors offering outstanding purity, precision, and depth. The brisk but harmonious acidity gives this great Sauternes a penetrating quality and provides a powerful spine to the very deep flavors, making it seem less opulent than it really is. This Yquem has the depth of the 2007 but boasts even greater purity and focus. Finishes bright and extremely long, with repeating suggestions of white flowers and lemony botrytis. Though it lacks the depth of the 2001 or the opulence of the 2009 at a similar stage of development, this is one of my favorite young Yquems ever: it will age spectacularly well.
      JS 98
      James Suckling
      A Sauternes with incredible purity and beauty. Full body, with lovely character of mangos, pineapple, papaya, and honey. Goes on for minutes. The purity in this wine is phenomenal. Spicy with dried mushroom and ash undertones. Gorgeous and clean. Bright. A more balanced 2001?
      Barrel Sample: 97-98 Points
      RP 97
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      The 2011 d'Yquem seems to be a close cousin of the 2001 and possibly the 1988. Light gold in color, restrained but pure and noble, it offers an intense bouquet of honeysuckle, caramelized apricot and white peach with a subtle hint of toasty oak. It builds slowly but beautifully to a full-bodied wine with a long finish. This vintage is about restraint and perfect balance despite the 144 grams of residual sugar. Some vintages are more exuberant or flamboyant, but 2011 is racy and compelling. Of course, these wines can be drunk young, but expect the 2011 to age for 50-75+ years in a good cellar.
      WE 97
      Wine Enthusiast
      Rich, with intense flavors of botrytis, lemon and Seville orange peel. This wine has both freshness and sweetness, with a light touch.
      Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points
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      Chateau d'Yquem

      Chateau d'Yquem

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      Chateau d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
      Image of 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.

      Sauternes

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      Sweet and unctuous but delightfully charming, the finest Sauternes typically express flavors of exotic dried tropical fruit, candied apricot, dried citrus peel, honey or ginger and a zesty beam of acidity.

      Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle are the grapes of Sauternes. But Sémillon's susceptibility to the requisite noble rot makes it the main variety and contributor to what makes Sauternes so unique. As a result, most Sauternes estates are planted to about 80% Sémillon. Sauvignon is prized for its balancing acidity and Muscadelle adds aromatic complexity to the blend with Sémillon.

      Botrytis cinerea or “noble rot” is a fungus that grows on grapes only in specific conditions and its onset is crucial to the development of the most stunning of sweet wines.

      In the fall, evening mists develop along the Garonne River, and settle into the small Sauternes district, creeping into the vineyards and sitting low until late morning. The next day, the sun has a chance to burn the moisture away, drying the grapes and concentrating their sugars and phenolic qualities. What distinguishes a fine Sauternes from a normal one is the producer’s willingness to wait and tend to the delicate botrytis-infected grapes through the end of the season.

      Other Dessert

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      Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.

      Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.

      Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.

      Rutherglen is an historic wine region in northeast Victoria, Australia, famous for its fortified Topaque and Muscat with complex tawny characteristics.

      BAL127076_2011 Item# 127076