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Yquem 2011

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Sauternes and Barsac
ColourSweet White
Grape VarietySauvignon Blanc/Semillon

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Tasting Notes

The 2011 seems to be a close cousin of the 2001 and possibly 1988. Light gold, restrained but very pure, noble and intense bouquet of honeysuckle, caramelized apricot, white peach with a subtle hint of toasty oak. It builds slowly but beautifully to a full-bodied wine and long finish. This vintage is about restraint and perfect balance despite the 144 grams of residual sugar. Some vintages are more exuberant or flamboyant-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. Robert Parker, 15/9/13

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, September 2013

Crazy minerality to this, with lots of dried mango, pineapple and papaya on the nose. Botrytis-spice and nutmeg undertones. Full body, very sweet, with superb depth of fruit and richness. It goes on for minutes. Turns dense and concentrated on the palate. Speechless. Better in 2019.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, January 2014

The greatest sweet wine of Bordeaux and without doubt one of the world's most famous wines. 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Production is 10000 cases. They started picking early in 2011. Ygrec was harvested from August 17th and even Yquem itself was picked from September 6th until October 5th as botrytis arrived much earlier than usual. Yield was 16hl/ha which is actually quite high for Yquem. This is an enormous and opulent Yquem that Maitre de Chai Sandrine Garbay believes to be between 2001 and 2009 in quality. Intensely aromatic on the nose with honey blossom and orange peel notes. The palate has staggering sweetness and is full of peaches, syrup, double cream, and spice. Amazingly viscous and luscious this is a wonderful, oily, decadent Yquem.

Farr Vintners, March 2012

There is a lot happening on the nose a lovely mix of fragrances lots of honeysuckle overlaying rich fruit. The palate has richness of flavour candied peel and apricot backed by fresher pineapple. The mid palate is full of honey rich ripe sensuous voluptuous but towards the back there is freshness that balances and brings out the fragrances.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2012

In a great year for Sauternes, this is the wine that stands out from the crowd. This was the fourth earliest vintage ever at Yquem to help retain freshness in the blend. It shows exotic spices, vanilla pod and citrus zest with notes of passion fruit and peach and a tangy, refreshing finish. A brilliant example of what the combination of investment, talent and climatic serendipity can achieve in Bordeaux. 10+ years.

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2012

(80% semillion and 20% sauvignon blanc; 3.8 pH; 144 g/l residual sugar; 13.8% alcohol): Bright yellow-gold. Captivating nose is marked by sexy lemony botrytis, white peach, mango, guava and saffron. Enters the mouth very dense but remarkably vibrant and pristine thanks to lively acidity, then turns richer and more unctuous in the mid-palate, displaying knockout flavors of fresh tropical fruit, white peach, white flowers, beeswax and wet stone. The finish is pure and extremely long. This amazing young Yquem, one of the finest in the last dozen years, perfectly combines elements of the fresher, more refined Yquems of the recent Dubourdieu years with the more exotic, opulent personality of the wines made under Alexandre de Lur Saluces. The harvest began on September 6 (only in 1893 did it begin earlier) with the young sauvignon blanc vines and even some semillon to preserve freshness. There were four tries in total, ending on October 5. General Manager Pierre Lurton told me that picking practically all the botrytized grapes very quickly in September was the key to guaranteeing a pure, fresh botrytis component. Sandrine Garbay, who has been maitre de chai at d'Yquem for 18 years, also believes this to be one of the top Yquems in recent memory, though it really doesn't remind her of any previous Yquem vintage with possible exception of the 2001.

Ian d'Agata, International Wine Cellar, August 2012

Layered, voluptuous wine with great precision and very long finish. Same sugar levels as 2010 and in similar style with lifted acidity. Classic, majestic Yquem crafted to age for decades.

Jeannie Cho Lee, Decanter.com, April 2012
Read more tasting notes...

The 2011 has a clear silvery gold hue, perhaps not quite as deep as I recall the 2010 last year. The bouquet is very fragrant and well-defined, with scents of wild honey, honeysuckle and a touch of vanilla. It is a refined, sedate and beautifully focused bouquet that does not need to show off. The palate displays superb weight in the mouth, even though at first it seems almost understated. Yet there is clearly a high level of spicy, botrytized fruit with notes of honey, orange zest and a touch of mandarin. There is no explosion on the finish; the 2011 is rather a lesson in control, complexity and nuance. It is utterly seductive. Drink 2016-2040+.

The 2011 commenced with picking on September 6, the fourth earliest in its history, although they waited until September 12 to really get going in the vineyard. The harvest was over four tries until the October 5, peaking on the last day of the second trie on September 23. There is a very low level of volatility compared to the level of residual sugar, which at 144 grams per liter is almost the same as 2010

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (200), April 2012

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

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2012
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.