Château d ’Yquem 2001
Some wines are iconic, etched in every wine lovers understanding. They achieve a status that matches only the greatest of the world. When you say Ferrari, Chanel or Rolex everyone understands what you mean. These names extend they category in which they are born. In the world of wine there are a few wines that reach that level, and even fewer that manage to do that for a long time. Château d’ Yquem is certainly one of them.
In this review we present to you the pinnacle of sweet wines, the 2001 Château d’ Yquem.
About the Winery
Château d’Yquem stands for an unwavering commitment to producing wines of exceptional quality. The history of Château d’Yquem is steeped in legend and lore, with records of its existence dating back to the 16th century. It was in the 19th century that the estate’s reputation soared under the ownership of the Lur Saluces family, who elevated its status to that of a Premier Cru Supérieur, the only Sauternes to hold this esteemed classification.
The estate’s location, nestled atop a gentle hill overlooking the Gironde River, contributes to the unique microclimate that encourages the development of noble rot. This fungus, botrytis cinerea, is a defining factor in the production of Sauternes, as it concentrates the grapes’ sugars and imparts intricate flavors to the resulting wine. The meticulous sorting of grapes during multiple passes through the vineyard ensures that only the most perfectly botrytized grapes are selected for production.
In the cellar, the winemaking team, with their time-honored expertise, delicately guides the transformation of the grapes into nectar-like elixir. The combination of fermentation and aging in a mix of new and seasoned oak barrels allows the wine to gain complexity and structure without overshadowing the delicate nuances of the fruit.
Château d’Yquem reflects a centuries-old tradition and unwavering dedication to craftsmanship. With its opulent aromas, layered flavors, and harmonious balance, it encapsulates the essence of the estate’s philosophy.
About the Wine
The 2001 vintage, with its depth and intricacy, embodies the very spirit of Château d’Yquem, paying homage to its heritage while embracing the future. It stands as a testament to the artistry of Sauternes production.
Upon pouring, its radiant amber hue catches the light, hinting at the depth of flavors to come. The aromatics are nothing short of captivating, with a bouquet that marries the sweetness of caramelized apricots and tropical fruits with subtle undertones of orange blossom and a delicate suggestion of baking spices.
As the wine envelops your palate, a wave of luxurious textures coats the tongue, showcasing the wine’s remarkable viscosity. The initial sweetness is beautifully countered by a riveting acidity, ensuring a harmonious balance that keeps the wine from becoming cloying. The layers of flavors unfold gracefully, revealing ripe peaches, marmalade, and a medley of exotic fruits, all elegantly framed by a thread of toasted oak and a touch of marzipan.
The mid-palate experience is nothing short of enchanting. The interplay of flavors continues to evolve, introducing nuances of crème brûlée, candied ginger, and a subtle minerality that adds depth to the profile. The wine’s finish is a crescendo of taste sensations, leaving behind a lingering aftertaste that dances between honeyed notes, dried apricots, and a gentle hint of saffron.
The 2001 Château d’Yquem is not only a wine; it’s an experience. It is a symphony of flavors that unfolds with each sip, revealing the meticulous craftsmanship and the unique terroir that define this legendary estate. After ageing for over 2 decades this vintage showcases the potential for both indulgence and complexity that only time can bestow. Whether savored now or aged further, this masterpiece of Sauternes remains a timeless treasure in the world of fine wines.
Château d ’Yquem remains the gold standard for sweet wines. It is a wine that every wine lover should taste at least once in their lives. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is like an opera that blows you away, but also moves you to tears. This a wine that transports you to the heart of Bordeaux’s Sauternes region and invites you to experience the magic of Château d’Yquem in every exquisite sip.
Although there are many ways to pair this perfect wine we would recommend to enjoy it on its own, in silence. Sip by sip, as a guilty pleasure. We award this 2001 vintage with a perfect 100-point DWA score.
We were lucky enough to enjoy this bottle with a good friend of us at Michelin Restaurant Flicka. This wine is reviewed by our own Niels Aarts. Château d ’Yquem is available in the Netherlands through Poot Agenturen, Bolomey Wijnimport and others.
Taste date: July 2023
Score: 100/100 DWA Score
Website: Château d’ Yquem