Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes 2011
Sauternes is different from other sweet wines for two reasons. First of all, Sauternes has a unique interplay of soil, topography and microclimate which promotes the regular growth of Botrytis cinerea perhaps more than anywhere else. Second, the vineyards are harvested in several "waves" in order to pick only the most botrytised grapes each time.
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, March 31, 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, October 2013
Barrel sample. Rich, with intense flavors of botrytis, lemon and Seville orange peel. This wine has both freshness and sweetness, with a light touch.
Score: 95-97, Roger Voss, May 11, 2012
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