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What a remarkable trilogy of vintages for Chateau d'Yquem (I am speaking of the 1990, 1989 and 1988). This vintage leans more toward the 1990 than 1988 in style. It is a very unctuously textured, medium gold-colored Yquem that is oozing with honey-soaked oranges, pineapples, apricots, and peaches. This is a very powerful, rich, thick wine, with load of glycerin, fabulous aromatics, and seemingly low acidity, but mind-boggling levels of depth and concentration, and a finish that goes on well over a minute. Like the 1990, it is a bit more flamboyant than its restrained sibling, the 1988, and tends to be more impressive in terms of power and richness than the more nuanced 1988. A great, great Yquem! Anticipated maturity: now-2065.
The favorite sweet wine of millionaires, Chateau d'Yquem has, not unexpectedly, turned in a brilliant effort with their newly released 1989. It is a large-scaled, massively rich, unctuously-textured wine that should evolve effortlessly for a half century or more. It does not reveal the compelling finesse and complexity of the 1988 or 1986, but it is a far heavier, richer wine than either of those vintages. It is reminiscent of the 1976, with additional fat and glycerin. The wine is extremely alcoholic and rich, with a huge nose of smoky, honey-covered coconuts and overripe pineapples and apricots. As with most young vintages of Yquem, the wine's structure is barely noticeable. These wines are so highly extracted and rich yet approachable young, it is difficult to believe they will last for 50 or more years. The 1989 is the richest Yquem made in the eighties, and it has an edge in complexity over the powerhouse 1983. It remains to be seen whether this wine will develop the extraordinary aromatic complexity possessed by the promising 1988 and 1986 Yquems. Last tasted 11/97
We finished with a sensational 1989 Yquem, again served from magnum, perhaps now the best of the triumvirate at the end of that decade, just about as good as Sauternes can get.
Tasted at the "First Growth" lunch in London. One of the outstanding Yquem's of the modern age, this '89 rarely disappoints. It has a limpid amber/golden colour. The nose is exuberant, just soaring from the glass with acacia honey, orange-blossom, apricots, quince and a touch of wild heather. Brilliant definition. The palate is perhaps more introspective than I anticipated but beautifully balanced with viscous honeyed fruit, tangerine, peach and just a hint of Seville orange marmalade. Lacquers the mouth in heavenly Sauternes with an extraordinarily long finish. Stunning! Drink now-2050+
Laid-back, extremely young aromas of honey, creme caramel, smoke and earth; essence of semillon. Rich, large-scaled and powerful; really expands in the mouth. Lovely harmonious acidity and bright notes of orange peel and minerals give this very youthful wine great clarity of flavor. Classy and impeccably balanced. The subtle, oak-spicy, nutty finish goes on and on. Conveys an almost saline impression of extract. This should approach peak drinkability within the next eight to ten years and last for decades.
Very classy and beautiful, packed with botrityzed flavors. Marvelous blend of vanilla, cream, tobacco-box notes, with a lot of oak on it for now but also loads of pure, clean and elegant fruit. An infant that will age for a long time.--Yquem vertical. Best after 2020. 12,500 cases made.