Man, let me tell you. Whatever you THINK you know about château d’yquem, believe me, nothing will prepare you for the awesomeness of actually tasting this wine…ever.

Chateau d'yquem

1999 château d’yquem

I had the pleasure of visiting est. in my last post and one of the magical things they were offering on the menu was the opportunity, at the low low price of $89, to have a glass of château d’yquem. Sure it comes with a free desert but really, us wine lovers know the real prize here. As costly as $89 may sound for a glass of sweet wine, one must remember that a coke can sized bottle of this wine (375ml) will set you back  a whopping $300+. So whats so special about this wine!?

Château d’yquem is regarded as one of the most prestigious sweet wines of the world, and after experiencing it first hand, justifiably so. Produced since 1711 in Graves (the southern Bordeaux region) using botrytised Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, this is the only Sauterns to be given the Grand Cru status. Wines from château d’yquem are known for their unrivaled complexity, concentration and longevity so the 1999, though 14 years old is still considered a very young expression with further development to follow in years to come.

Nose is opulent filled with cognac, lacquer, fresh wooden floors, mahogany, soft fine leather with cherry blossom flowers, violets and rose. Over time, the nose layers into more sweet and acidic notes of mixed berries, cream, passionfruit seeds, caramel twirls and french pastries. There is a clean start on the palate, building into an intense and wild flowing mix of flavors showing peach, cream, buttered biscuits, almonds, delicate jelly cubes, dates, prunes, cinnamon, lyche and ginger. The wine then transitions into into a slight jammy feeling with ever the slightest bit of pleasant heat at the ever lasting and evolving finish showing firstly richer notes of mint, elder flower and vanilla essence into the more fruity sweet/acidic combination of pomelo, mangostene, blood oranges…it just doesn’t stop!

I was truly floored after my first taste. So insanely complex and and layered, well structured, very balanced, lean and not viscous on the palate. The essence of what truly amazed me was how easy it was to pick out individual flavors, yet how effortlessly these flavors integrated themselves, flowed and blended into the next…and these flavors didn’t stop, a bit like what you might expect from a real Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper.

Truly truly a special wine and I have absolutely no regrets. If you want to have an amazing wine experience, get some château d’yquem. Alternatively, you could eat in order, a peach, some cream, buttered biscuits, almonds, jelly cubes…….