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1997 Chateau d'Yquem 1er Grand Cru Classe 375ml
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- Closure: Cork
Situated at the top of the Sauternes/ Barsac appellation hierarchy under the classification of Premier Cru Superieur, the wines of Chateau d’Yquem are simply like that of no other. Its history is established in the dominion of the English crown under Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, initially spouse to King Louis VII and later to Henry Plantaganet in 1152 (King Henry II) where the estate remained under British Royal ownership until 1453.
The estates notable years of growth came under the Sauvage family; united through marriage with family Lur-Saluces, they would remain sole caretakers of d’Yquem over four centuries until the retirement of Alexandre de Lur-Saluces in 2004 at the behest major shareholder LVMH. Pierre Lurton of Chateau Cheval-Blanc in now in the prime position. The vineyards at d'Yquem span 113 ha, planting 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, and none of the permitted Muscadelle. The estate is one of the only few in the district to utilizing a mixture of both semi and fully botrytised grapes in order to maintain balance of sugar and acidity.
A sensational Yquem, 1997 may be this estate's finest effort since 1990 (although I would not discount the 1996 turning out to be nearly as good). The 1997's light gold color is accompanied a gorgeous perfume of caramel, honeysuckle, peach, apricot, and smoky wood. Full-bodied and unctuously-textured, with good underlying acidity as well as loads of sweetness and glycerin, it looks to be a great vintage for this renowned Sauternes estate. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2055.
Score: 96 points
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #146 (Apr 2003)