Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes 2016
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Sauternes|
The 2016 Château d'Yquem was picked over four tries through the vineyard, commencing on 27 September and finishing on 4 November. The crucial pass through the vines took place between 18-22 October when over half the crop was picked. In fact, 75% of the crop was picked during the final two weeks of the harvest. It has 14.2% alcohol and a residual sugar level of 135 grams per liter, a pH of 3.80. A classic blend of 75% Sémillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, it has a comparatively nuanced bouquet compared to Yquems that I have encountered at this stage. It opens gradually with light honeyed aromas, white flowers, apple blossom and just a touch of honeysuckle, although it does not possess the bravura personality of the astounding 2015. The palate is medium-bodied with a viscous opening, a subtle spice note leaving the mouth tingling. This is a fresh Yquem, tensile with moderate weight and delivering, perhaps belatedly, fine attack on the finish lined with subtle lemongrass notes. It will be interesting to plot the progress of this Yquem throughout its barrel maturation. This is an excellent Yquem no doubt, though I was missing that nerve, the labyrinthine complexity that can mark a top-tier Yquem even at this premature stage. I suspect that this will drink earlier than others, but age in a style only it knows.
95-97. Barrel Sample. The bouquet opens with aromas of honey and citrus, offering richness and freshness at the same time. The mouthfeel is opulent, with honeyed flavors. There is some acidity underneath, although decadence and concentration are its defining attributes. It will age for decades.
This is exotic, with very lush and seductive notes of coconut, honeysuckle, creamed white peach, glazed pear, mirabelle plum and yellow apple, all woven together seamlessly. Beautifully caressing in feel, with a long acacia echo on the finish. Best from 2023 through 2040.