Yquem 2011

Sauternes/Barsac, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

Served from an ex-chateau bottle. Bottled in October 2013, the 2011 Chateau d’Yquem is reticent at first, a little stage fright perhaps. It soon recovers and offers gorgeous scents with fresh white peach, nectarine and fresh apricot that are beautifully defined, although there is a veneer of new oak that will need to be subsumed. The palate is well-balanced with superb structure. There is a light spiciness here with great symmetry, and although there is not the persistency of a top flight Yquem, it has a penetration that is compelling.

Score: 96

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com 01 June 2014

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+.

Score: 96 - 98

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2016-2040+ 01 April 2012

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.

Score: 99

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2020-2060 31 March 2014

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.

Score: 97

Robert Parker, RobertParker.com 01 October 2013

Complex but quite withheld on the nose. Lightly honeyed, mineral and almost savoury on the nose, creamy. Spicy more than immediate fruit. Saffron? Very concentrated, intense, dense and very very long. Excellent freshness that cuts through that intensity. On the mid palate, pure apricot and citrus and grapefruit. Burst of fruit comes out of the more closed aromas. Lively even though intense. Fills the mouth but no heavy viscous feel to it. Direct and prolonged but overall creamy and gentle. I tasted the wine a second time, with both savoury and sweet foods, and it opened up considerably but remained gently elegant and creamy, with lovely freshness and still plenty of spice and persistence.

Score: 18

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2023-2040 25 April 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.

Score: 19

Decanter, Decanter.com Maturity: 2023-2062 16 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. A more balanced 2001?

Score: 98

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 01 April 2012