1996 - Ch d'Yquem 1er Cru Classé Supérieur Sauternes
0796YQUE6PK _ 1996 - Ch d'Yquem 1er Cru Classé Supérieur Sauternes - 6x75cl
Colour
Port_Sweet
Producer
Château d'Yquem
Region
Sauternes
Grape
Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc
Drinking
2006 - 2025
Case size
6x75cl

1996 CH D'YQUEM 1ER CRU CLASSÉ SUPÉRIEUR SAUTERNES - 6x75cl

Colour
Port Sweet
Producer
Château d'Yquem
Region
Sauternes
Grape
Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc
Drinking
2006 - 2025
Case size
6x75cl

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Tasting Notes

  • GDH

    Goedhuis, January 2007

    A medium to full-bodied wine that offers aromas of gently toasted spice, dried apple and vanilla with moderate acidity and structure. Though the 1996 is not a blockbuster or notably breathtaking, it is a fine example that is balanced and pleasing...and quinessential Sauternes.

  • RP

    Robert Parker, April 2003,
    Score: 95

    Wine Advocate #146 (Apr 2003) Drink 2012-2060Compared with the flamboyant aromatics of the 1997, Yquem's 1996 plays it closer to the vest, although there is a lot going on. Light gold with a tight but promising nose of roasted hazelnuts intermixed with creme brulee, vanilla beans, honey, orange marmalade, and peaches, this medium to full-bodied offering reveals loads of power in its restrained, measured personality. There is admirable acidity, weight, texture, and purity in this impeccably made Yquem. However, patience will be a virtue. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2060. Note: Yquem spends 42 months in 100% new oak. No cask tasting is permitted, and the wine is not released until 5 years after the vintage. For example, the 1998 will be released some time in 2003; the 2001 will not be released until 2006.

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Producer

Château d'Yquem

Château d'Yquem sits on its own in more ways than one. It has its own rank at the top of the 1855 classification - Premier Cru Supérieur - and it lies near the peak at the centre of the Southern Sauternes appellation. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the best white wine in France was produced there (although it would have been quite a different wine to today's).Once belonging to Eleanor of Aquitaine, Château d'Yquem passed to the french crown upon her marriage to the future King Louis VII. After the marriage was annulled, Eleanor was free to marry Henry Plantagenet, who became King Henry II of England, in 1154. Château d'Yquem remained in British hands until the end of the Hundred Years War (1453).The Sauvage dYquem family acquired it in 1593 and maintained ownership until the 18th century, a time throughout which they modified and added to the Château and the reputation of the wine was sealed.Despite the family losing the estate after the revolution, they managed to wrest control of it once more, and Francoise-Josephine Sauvage d'Yquem again continued to build the estate. The estate passed through the Lur-Saluces family until it reached Bertrand de Lur-Saluces. Bertrand introduced the dry white wine "Y" (pronounced ygrec in french). In 1968 upon Bertrand's death, the estate passed to his nephew Alexandre Lur-Saluces who tended the estate until family politics saw the control of the estate land with LMVH and Pierre Lurton who manages Cheval Blanc (also a LMVH property) now looks after the estate. The vineyards are a total of 113ha in all, only about 100ha are actually in production, thus allowing the the replacement of elderly vines and some land to lie fallow. It is planted with 80% Semillion and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, due to the latter's increased productivity, the end result is a more even distribution in the bottle. Yields are about 9hl/ha compared to 20 to 30 hl/ha in other sauternes properties. The site it particulaly susceptible to botrytis, or Noble rot, which causes the grapes to shrivel whilst concentrating the sugars and introducing levels of complexity. Harvest is extremely labour intensive, with several "tries" picking the grapes in the correct condition. The wine is fermented in Oak with typically three years spent in the barrel. On average about 65,000 bottles are produced every year.

Region

Sauternes

It is not an exaggeration to say that these are the greatest sweet wines in the world. They are the result of a serendipitous marriage of grape variety, location, annual weather conditions and human care and determination. The vineyards are located on the banks of the cool spring-fed Ciron river which, in autumn, flows into the warmer tidal Garonne and creates rolling evening mists which clothe the vines until the afternoon sun burns them off the following day. This cycle creates perfect conditions for the development of botrytis cinerea or noble rot, and the resulting grape juice is a super concentrated sweet, ambrosial nectar which makes the most heavenly and complex wines with extraordinary ability to age. In 1855 the wines were classified into first and second growths, with Ch d'Yquem rightly receivingits own super status of premier grand cru. Other stunning wines include Chx Sudiraut, Rieussec, Coutet and Climens. While seductively fragrant and sweet when young, if you can bear to wait, you will be amply rewarded with lusciously rich, exotically complex wine.