The 2016 d'Yquem is a magical wine. It also looks like an Yquem that will drink well right out of the gate. Like so many of the better wines in this vintage, it manages to express richness while avoiding excess heaviness. Pineapple, orange marmalade, exotic flowers and spice all blossom in the glass. There is a real sense of phenolic richness and overall viscosity to the 2016 that adds to the wine's singular personality. The 135 grams of residual sugar are not especially evident. In 2016, the vineyard was harvested in four passes, but it was not until after the October rains that noble rot started to appear on the vine. (AG)
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. (NM)
Despite a rich botrytis character, this balances impact with delicacy. Clear citrus on the nose with a hint of flint and smoke, allowing the soft white flowers and lime blossom to steal up on you slowly. There are caramel notes through the mid-palate and great persistency, as ever. Extremely elegant. This was the driest summer since 1898, and the harvest at Yquem lasted a full two months, from 4th September (for the dry white Y d'Yquem) through to 4th November for the final selection of botrytis berries. The final yield is 20hl/ha, the highest in recent years against their average of 9hl/ha, with 40% going into the grand vin. (JA)
What a sexy and moreish wine that makes you want to drink the whole bottle. Flavors and aromas of cooked apples, grilled pineapple, pie crust, apricots, dried mushrooms and flan. Full-bodied, yet tight and reserved. Very long and powerful. Lasts for minutes. Another great wine.
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