2018 Yquem (Sauternes)

Barsac & Sauternes, Bordeaux FRANCE
Wine Style
Dominant Grape
Closure Style
Bottle Size
Case Quantity
Wine Score
97 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com, August 2020
98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, robertparker.com, October 2020
93 points, Neal Martin, vinous.com, September 2020
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    Case 6x37.5cl - -

Media Reviews

Jane Anson

Average temperatures 2.7°C over average, combined with 20% of the normal rainfall from mid August to the end of July made makes this a naturally rich, low-yielding vintage (40% less than average, not helped by a hail storm in July), with a gloriously gourmet 145g/ha residual sugar, and a pH level of 3.95. As ever with Yquem, patience was the key, taking in the grapes slowly but surely over 17 days harvest that extended well into October. The results in the glass are intense and glossy, full of satin-textured apricot and white peach flavours. There are exotic fruits of pineapple and mango but winemaker Sandrine Garbay has kept a focus on fresher flavours of lime zest and citrus that balance out the natural richness and concentration. Pretty closed right now, but there is power and balance here, an excellent Yquem. 97 points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

The 2018 d`Yquem is all lime cordial, grapefruit oil and mandarin peel to begin. With a little coaxing, the fireworks really begin, letting off a whole array of honeysuckle, candied ginger, dried pineapple, lemon pastilles, chalk dust and sea spray scents, followed by a savory undercurrent of shaved almonds, allspice and baking bread. The palate is an exercise in polish and poise, featuring the most gorgeously creamy texture and bright, sparkling freshness, framing all the densely laden tropical and citrus fruit layers, finishing with a powerful BANG of profound floral and spice perfume. It is wonderfully sweet, yes, but that—paradoxically for a "sweet wine"—is almost beside the point. 98 points

Neal Martin

The 2018 Château d’Yquem “unfolded under tropical conditions” according to the château’s technical sheet, temperatures 2.7°C above average and this influences the style of the latest release. Noble rot spread after rainfall between 5 and 13 October, the picking commencing on 17 October with the heart of the harvest picked between 22 and 27 October. In total there was 17 days of picking. The final wine is a blend of 85% Sémillon and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, 13.50% alcohol (stated on the label) with 145g/L residual sugar and a pH of 3.95. I tasted the wine from two ex-château bottles on the same day. Firstly, in the morning, poured straight from bottle at room temperature into a regular Bordeaux glass. Lucid straw in colour, it is paler than recent vintages. The bouquet requires coaxing, certainly less intense than with pretty scents of dried honey, saffron and orange pith, a discrete Germanic tinge just off stage. The palate is understated on the entry. Modest in terms of complexity and certainly far from the most luscious Yquem that I have tasted in recent vintages, it offers appealing lemon curd, apricot and a dab of spiciness, stem ginger and lemongrass. The second bottle was served in the evening at a lower temperature after a two hour decant in a smaller Zalto Sauternes glass. Now, this showed differently. The aromatics here felt more focused and energetic for a start - more drive. The palate revealed greater complexity thanks to decanting and certainly more tension, crucial to counterbalance that residual sugar. Overall, I do not believe that the 2018 Yquem belongs in the pantheon of great vintages of Yquem since it lacks requisite nuance, depth and complexity. It is a pretty and charming Yquem, maybe a sensitive one that needs to be served correctly, lest its shortcomings deriving from the growing season, not any winemaking decision, show through. 93 points

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