The only property classified as a Superior First Classified Growth of 1855, Chateau d'Yquem is a legend in Sauternes and in Bordeaux. It is also one of the most famous and prestigious wines in the world. Its history is made up of twists and turns with moments of glory along with difficult times. Even with its glorious reputation, Chateau d'Yquem continues to promote modernity, authenticity and know-how so that the quality of each of its wines lives up to its name.
The Sauternes estate only produces in the best years to give quality vintages, but 1988 still stands out for its unusual weather. The spring was hot and humid with late flowering. Despite the mild weather from July, the flowering never caught up to its blooming forecast. The harvest began in mid-October, and the ideal late-season weather made it possible not to rush picking and this allowed the berries to be picked at the perfect stage of botrytis.
In the end, the Chateau d'Yquem 1988 took 6 passages through the vineyard until the end of November. The result is a grand Sauternes with all its expected fullness. It has aromas of citrus marmalade, honey, white chocolate and yellow stone fruit. It can be consumed up until 2050 or even later.
The 1988 Chateau d'Yquem has long been an insider's favorite over the 1989 and 1990, although at the end of the day, all three form a brilliant triumvirate at the end of the decade. Tasted from a half bottle, it shone with a slightly burnished amber hue. The bouquet is just as I have encountered with previous bottles with scents of marmalade, mandarin, burnt honey and citrus fruit, perhaps a little waxier and resinous than I recall. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive weight, viscous as you would expect, though not as flamboyant as the 1989 or as unctuous as the 1990. It is beautifully balanced with notes of apricot, white chocolate and orange peel towards the harmonious and tensile finish. You can see this cruising along for two or three decades and maybe it will turn more Barsac-like in style? Time will tell - a glorious Yquem however you look at it. Tasted May 2016.