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D'Yquem 2019 (750ML)

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Left Bank
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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

98 VM / 98 WCI / 97+ WI / 97 WS / 97 JA / 97 DE / 97 FS / 18.5++ JR

Owners LVMH took the decision to delay the release of the 2019 Yquem until spring 2022. It was tasted with winemaker Sandrine Garbay in London. After the summer drought when Sauternes received just 2.5mm of rain until 26 July, that day saw a 112mm deluge that replenished underground reserves and gave ripening the push it needed. Dry and warm conditions prevailed throughout September when there was no sign of botrytis infection. That was finally provoked by 38mm of rain between 21 and 25 of September, followed by warm clement weather. After minor picking of Sauvignon Blanc on 7 of October, the main harvest began in earnest on 10 October. Pickers worked over the following five days, including Sunday. Time was of the essence because, as forecasts predicted, the weather suddenly changed on 14 of October with 40mm or rain. After that, the picking teams skirted between showers between 17 and 22 of October, though by now the fruit had begun to deteriorate. Therefore, the key aspect of this Yquem is the extremely tight picking window. The final blend contains 138g/L residual sugar, which is slightly less than the previous vintage, with 5.5g/L total acidity and 14.4% alcohol. Tasting the 2019, I noticed that it has a slightly paler hue compared to recent vintages (though I never read too much into the colour of young Sauternes.) For certain, it has a highly-aromatic bouquet that is beguiling in purity, enticing aromas of honeysuckle and saffron, soon joined by camomile, white flowers and orange blossom. It has wonderful delineation and gains intensity with aeration. The palate is supremely well-balanced with fine bead of acidity. Very harmonious and armed with just the right amount of viscosity, this Yquem is surprisingly understated at first but gains presence, offering irresistible flavours of layers of honey, lemongrass, lemon thyme and orange pith. Yquem is so tempting in its youth, but I feel that this vintage will repay those with the nous to cellar for at least a decade. - Neal Martin, Vinous Media

Light, yellow, gold in color, the wine pops on the nose with its showy display of flowers, honeysuckle, candied apricots, orange rind, pineapple, mango, lemongrass, vanilla and spice. Perched on the corner of richness, sweetness and acidity, the wine is opulent, fresh, sweet, rich and most-importantly, lifted, so everything feels upbeat and racy on the backend. Because the wine has so much lift and energy, it will be easy to pair with a diverse array of cuisines. You can enjoy this young, without much if any age for its sweetness and exuberance. Or age it for secondary characteristics and nuances. Produced from a blend of 55% Semillon and 45% Sauvignon Blanc , 2019 has the highest percentage of Sauvignon Blanc ever used in d'Yquem. You find more Sauvignon Blanc this year due to the shortened picking window. But as you can see from my notes, or from tasting the wine, it really works here! Drink from 2025-2075. 98 Points-Jeff Leve, Wine Cellar Insider, tasted 3/22

Pale lemon-gold in color, the 2019 Château d’Yquem springs forth with confident, alluring scents of lime blossoms, mandarin peel, and candied lemon slices over a core of fresh pineapple, white peaches, and crushed stones, plus a hint of shaved ginger. The palate absolutely pops with vibrant citrus flavors accented by tropical fruits and peachy nuances, supported by an achingly velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing with long-lasting mineral and floral fireworks. An irresistible fat-cheeked baby with that Mona Lisa smile at the moment, give it 6-8 years in the cellar to begin to reveal its opulent personality, and then drink it over the next 30-35 years+. The blend is 55% Semillon and 45% Sauvignon Blanc with 138 g/L of residual sugar and a pH of 3.9. The alcohol weighs in at 14.4. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent

A special wine right from the start, this glistens with pure papaya, mango, white peach and mirabelle plum, joined by elderflower honey, toasted macadamia nut and orange blossom notes. Ends with a remarkably long finish. Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Drink now through 2050. 4,583 cases made.—J.M., Wine Spectator

Clear push and pull between acidity and lusciousness from the first moments. A higher percentage of Sauvignon Blanc than in a typical year, showing in sculpted gunsmoke and white truffle on the opening beats. Fresher flavours continue with lemongrass and lime zest, broadening out into luscious mango, grilled caramel, pineapple and brioche, and a welcome edge of bitterness on the finish with mandarin peel and oyster shell salinity. As has so often been the case in recent years, the team at Yquem needed to hold their nerve, as a dry September meant the noble rot took its time to get underway, with harvest finally taking place from around October 10 though to early November. 138g/l residual sugar, 10hl/h yield. Organic conversion began in August 2019, with certification expected 2022. Winemaker Sandrine Garbay. - Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

The 2019 vintage of Château d'Yquem has the highest proportion (45%) of Sauvignon Blanc in any modern Yquem. The Sauvignon Blanc adds to the freshness, acting as a great balance to the succulent, sweet and voluptuous palate. Intense peach and apricot, combined with lemon and orange zest, make this highly appealing to drink right away – an ideal vintage with which to start Yquem’s ‘lighthouse’ project. However, it would be a shame not to give this 10+ years maturation to see how it develops. Very well, I suspect. The growing season was both warm and wet, with mildew a big threat. After a mostly dry September, 40mm rain came at the end of the month, leading to a very short harvest window. All of the Yquem grapes were picked in two tries within a one-week period. Residual Sugar: 138g/L. Drinking Window 2025 - 2060 - Andy Howard MW, Decanter

Medium golden yellow, silver reflections. Fine blossom honey, a hint of bourbon vanilla, ripe yellow tropical fruit, candied orange zest, delicate hints of ripe mango, mace and orange blossom in the background. Juicy, significant residual sweetness of 138 g, opulent but not lavish style, well-integrated wood component, mineral-salty, still somewhat underdeveloped, a touch of apricot on the finish, good length, very harmonious and easy to drink, with safe aging potential.-Falstaff


Dried fruit, pure and direct. Succulent and juicy, super-concentrated length. Lighter than usual, but no compromise on the complexity. It has the magic of Yquem in a slim-fit package. Not the most hedonistic, but certainly in the top class of Sauternes. -Richard Hemming MW, JancisRobinson

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