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Yquem 2017

SubregionSauternes and Barsac
ColourSweet White
Grape VarietySauvignon Blanc/Semillon

The greatest sweet wine of Bordeaux and without doubt one of the world's most famous wines. There is no denying outstanding quality is consistently maintained here but pricing in some recent vintages has been too high. We expect this to be released soon after bottling in September 2018.

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Tasting Notes

The 2017 Yquem, which was not affected by frost, was picked in two tries from 26 to 29 September and 5 to 10 October. There is 148gm/L residual sugar and a 3.8 pH, alcohol coming in at 13.9°. The early September rain prompted homogenous pourriture noble and this was followed by a warm period that meant that concentration came rapidly. They focused on the best parts of the property, discarding 30% of the parcels. It has a very harmonious bouquet with white peaches, orange sorbet, white flowers and a touch of crushed stone. It has an “airy” nose that gathers pace with aeration. The palate is very fresh in the mouth with slightly less weight and concentration than the 2015 tasted alongside. There are subtle spicy veins interwoven through the final third with hints of freshly shaved ginger that add another dimension towards the finish. This might not be up there with the top tier of Yquem’s over the last century, however, it is clearly a very well-crafted and complex Sauternes that will last many years. Drink 2023-2060.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018

There was no frost at d’Yquem in 2017, and botrytis was very regular and even this vintage. The nose opens with very pure notes of freshly sliced oranges, yuzu and lemon barley water with hints of white pepper, fresh ginger and lime cordial. The incredibly rich, unctuous sweetness (148 grams per liter of residual sugar) is beautifully marbled with bright, vivacious citrus fruit and spice flavors, while lifted by well-knit freshness, and it finishes with epic length and great depth.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

This is a great Yquem, delivering thrilling purity and intensity. The nose offers intense aromas of fresh and dried apricot and peach pastry, as well as freshly baked creme brulee, candied and fresh orange and kumquat. Some marmalade, too. Smooth, glossy texture with flavors of grilled orange, dried apricot and an exceptionally long finish with a powerful, driving push to the end. A flicker of toasty-oak influence arrives late, but this wine has completely consumed the oak. The 2017 Yquem is a very powerful wine from a very rich and exceptional vintage. The acidity has a big hand in balancing the richness. Pithy finish. The phenolics deliver some great depth. Rain at the beginning of September prompted an extensive infection of noble rot. The harvest lasted from September 26 to October 13. Great quality and one of the best since the legendary 2001. Drink or hold.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, January 2020

The tannins and phenolic tension are very impressive to this. Dried-lemon undertones and burning botrytis. Full-to medium-bodied, linear and racy. Beautiful fruit and intensity. Such clarity. Extreme but wonderful style.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018

Rich, creamy-almond nose, almond paste, ripe pears, apricot more than bitter orange. The first impression showed less immediate botrytis than I expected, it smells so creamy. Fills the mouth with sweetness and a light peppery spice. As it opens up, there's pineapple and bitter orange flavours emerge. Viscous texture and such concentration that it fills your mouth even after spitting. Unctuous but balanced by the bitter-orange freshness on the long finish. 13.9%
Drink 2027-2047

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017
Read more tasting notes...

To overcome the gap between the dry white harvest (16-25 August, even earlier than in 2003) and the noble rot harvest (20 September to 14 October), the team began by picking their best plots on the cooler clay terroirs to ensure maximum freshness. They have expertly managed to retain a beautiful focus, showing pared back but fleshy white peach and pear notes, saffron, white pepper, subtle gunsmoke and slate, followed by a fantastic kick of ginger through the mid palate and beyond. There was no frost impact here, but they were still very strict in the blending, using just 45% of their 17hl/ha crop. This wine has a fairly high 148g/l of residual sugar, with TA6 and 3.8pH (compared to 3.65pH in 2015). They expect to carry out long oak ageing to add structure and to balance the sugars. Expect 80,000 bottles of Yquem.
Drinking Window 2020 - 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018

Only 3ha of the total of 105ha were frosted, and this was a dry wine part of the vineyard, so d’Yquem got off very lightly indeed. It was warm in general here and the vines grew intensively in July and August. In September it rained for two weeks which was perfect for instigating the onset of botrytis. Then a window appeared with warmer, windy weather from the 26th September until 14th October. In the end there were only 2 tries (picks) in the vineyard and the botrytis kept rising quickly throughout this period. They started with the best terroirs to be sure to have the balance of acidity and sugar. With grapes with 28-30 degrees alcohol potential out in the vineyard it was a super ripe vintage. Having said this, these grapes were not used for the Grand Vin.

It is odd to have such a big delay between the ripeness of the grapes and the onset of botrytis. They have done some graphs and analysis of 2017 and it apparently resembles 1947! There is less Sauvignon used this year because the grapes appeared tired in the gap between aromatic ripeness and botrytis coming in. In common with other wines the nose is very exotic and creamy. The palate is extremely buoyant with huge sweetness and generosity and the acidity is fighting the fruit from the outset. The freshness comes from the bitterness and zestiness in the flavour as opposed to the acidity which brings balance. Very luxurious, juicy and opulent, only 45% of the total crop (80000 bottles) made the Grand Vin. The fruit and the length are so exuberant and intense and the finish is insanely long. I rather like this wine!

Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018
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.