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.
Drink Date 2026 - 2070
|Score: 95/97||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
A very classic Yquem. Breathtakingly wide spectrum of floral honey, exotic fruit (passion fruit, mango and pineapple), caramel and marzipan aromas. But none of this is a jot too much. In fact, the wine is extremely precise and finely nuanced. Wonderful freshness and textural complexity, in spite of the considerable concentration and extravagance. Very suave and sensual finish that goes on and on. Drink or hold.
|Score: 99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019|
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.
|Score: 94/97||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Deep gold. Fragrant and luscious. Round and dried fruits. Real lift on the nose but massive depth too. This is definitely the cream of the 2016 Sauternes crop!
|Score: 18.5+||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
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. 80,000 bottles will be produced in 2016, at 20hl/ha. Inevitably rich and complex on the nose. Creme brulee, lemon curd, vanilla and marmalade. The palate is soft, smooth and ripe, with 135g/l residual sugar bringing honeyed fruits and a rounded texture without an overlying cloying finish. The mouthfulling caramel and peach notes are refreshed by waves of acidity that make the intensity of fruit and viscosity of body feel almost weightless. The long, spicy, sweet finish a testament to the wine's ageability.
|Score: 18||Farr Vintners, April 2017|
The nose has fragrance white peaches the palate is rich with ripe fruit a lovely complex mix. Sweet in the middle dried fruits and candied peel sumptuous the fleshy richness underpinned by citrus lighter at the back with lingering fragrances on the finish. 2025-48
|Score: 94/96||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
This is very good rather than a great Yquem, but that still makes it a very special Sauternes. The botrytis came late, so this is not an especially exotic or decadent wine, with 135 grams of sugar, plenty of citrus and grapefruit acidity, some nectarine and white peach notes and a dusting of vanilla spice. 2022-32
|Score: 96||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
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 compared to 50% last year. 135g/l residual sugar and 3.9pH. 75% Sémillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc. The 2015 will be released this September.
Drinking Window 2025-2050
|Score: 97||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|
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.
|Score: 98/99||James Halliday, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|