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2008 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes (375ml)
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- Closure: Cork
Famed as the drink of presidents and millionaires, destined for longevity near that of a century. 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.
Tasted single blind against its peers. The Yquem 2008 is easy to spot in a blind line-up: it is (to quote Tina Turner) simply the best. It has a subtle, delicate but very pretty bouquet with fine definition and astounding minerality. The palate is beautifully poised, tense and tightly coiled on the entry and then it just explodes in the mouth with pure, unbridled, joyous botrytized fruit struck through with a silver thread of acidity. It displays exemplary tension and freshness, along with great persistency in the mouth. This is an outstanding Sauternes 2008 and another impressive Yquem. Tasted January 2012.
Neal Martin - Wine Advocate (#199 - Feb 2012)