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Port & Sauternes

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1963 Quinta Do Noval Nacional

(Quinta do Noval Nacional) I had never tasted the legendary 1963 Nacional previously, and this stunningly pure and still almost youthful wine was every bit as profound as its reputation suggests. The glorious nose erupts from the glass in a sappy mélange of red plums, cherries, heather, coffee, cigar smoke, clover honey, a brilliant base of soil, orange zest and incipient notes of celery seed and other savory delights. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still rock solid at the core, with glorious transparency, melting tannins, laser-like focus and brilliant soil drive on the very, very long and tangy finish. Like several other of the very best 1963 Ports, the ’63 Nacional is still a fairly young wine and will continue to dazzle for another fifty or sixty years. It was an absolute privilege to taste this legendary wine! (Drink between 2012-2075)John Gilman | 100 JGAmazingly, the importer still has tiny stocks of such legendary ports as the 1970, 1963, and 1962 Nacionals. In most vintages the production of Quinta do Noval Nacional is no more than 250-275 cases. The 1970,1963,1962 and 1994 are candidates to achieve perfect scores. The 1963 Nacional’s opaque purple color is remarkable, looking more like a 1992 than a 33-year old port. The wine possessed a fabulously smoky, cassis, black-cherry, peppery nose. After thirty minutes in the glass, fruitcake notes and more evolved aromas emerged. This port is so concentrated it defies belief, with extraordinary balance, and, like its two siblings, well-integrated alcohol and tannin. The impression is one of a silky, succulent, voluptuously-textured mouthful of exceptionally extracted port. This is a legend in the making. In 30-40 years it may well be considered, along with the 1931, as one of the greatest ports ever produced. Those lucky few with a bottle or two should plan to hold onto them for another decade before pulling the cork. It, too, is a hundred-year port.Robert Parker | 99 RPToffee, incense, dried cherry, bergamot and green tea notes provide the aromas here, with mulled plum and licorice flavors forming the core. A light singed balsam wood accent lines the finish, which is viscous and sweet-edged but stays decidedly dry in feel overall. Harmonious and incredibly long.—Non-blind Quinta do Noval vertical (May 2018). Drink now through 2030. 251 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSGood full, deep red. Knockout nose offers red and black cherry, strawberry, spices and mint. Unbelievably young for a wine that’s nearly a half-century old, offering incredible power and thrust to its red berry, spice and mineral flavors. Fills the mouth with perfume. Combines extraordinary mid-palate lift with a silky texture and buns of steel, conveying an impression of buzzing energy. The endless finish features great concentration and urgency, and utterly noble tannins. Can a 49-year-old port still be on an up curve? I hope to find out. This wine should go on for another 30 years without difficulty.Vinous Media | 98+ VM

As low as $7,245.00
1970 fonseca Port

Some people may enjoy this wine’s rather fat, rich and powerful fruit now, but I still find it too young for drinking. Deeply colored, with smoky mint, tar and fruit aromas, full-bodied, with concentrated fruit flavors and plenty of tannins.Wine Spectator | 96 WSTasted at the Vintners Company’s 650th anniversary celebration at Vintners Hall, the Fonseca 1970 was the finest bottle I have encountered. The bouquet opens beautifully with heady scents of clove, ginger, small red cherries, bergamot and allspice, displaying exquisite definition and harmony. The palate follows suit with lovely balance and poise in the mouth, notes of kirsch, shaved ginger and walnut building to an opulent, viscous finish that lacquers the mouth. Yet this bottle shows more control than the bottle tasted four years ago. The 1970 Fonseca is in a very nice place at the moment. You should join it. Tasted May 2013.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 95 RP-NM

97
RP-HG
As low as $325.00
1977 fonseca Port

Vintage Port doesn’t seem like the right wine in the middle of the summer but I had an Amarone producer for dinner the other night in Tuscany and he had never drunk a wine from his birth year. He was lucky enough to have been born in 1977 - a great Port year! I found a bottle of 1977 Fonseca in my cellar - probably my last. It was absolutely gorgeous. I gave this fortified wine a perfect score in its youth and I think it has finally evolved into its perfection as a mature vintage Port. Here is the tasting note. 1977 Fonseca Vintage Port: This is in total balance now with such harmony. What amazing aromas of berry and flowers. Full and sweet, the tannins are complete dissolved. The fruit is perfect. This goes on for minutes. Drink now. But it will go forever.James Suckling | 100 JSWhat a Vintage Port. Dark ruby center, with a dark garnet edge. Aromas of flowers, blackberry and licorice. Subtle and complex. Wow. What a palate. Full, concentrated and rich, yet balanced and beautiful. Solid and sleepy. Still not giving all it has to give. This is just coming around. Gorgeous and classy. Love it. ’77/’85/’97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 100 WS(Fonseca) I have always found the ’77 Fonseca to be one of the stars of the vintage, and this most recent bottle was beginning to really hit on all cylinders. The bouquet delivers a beautifully complex and concentrated mélange of sweet cassis, plum, blackberry, mint, tobacco, chocolate, minerals, and cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and almost voluptuous, with a fine core of fruit, beautiful structure and focus, ripe tannins, and great grip on the long and modestly tannic finish. This wine is a beautiful and relatively forward example of the vintage, and consequently it is offering up superb drinking already. My gut instinct suggests that there is more complexity to come with further bottle age, but it is pretty hard not to want to drink this beauty at this stage of development. A quintessential vintage of Fonseca. (Drink between 2007-2050).John Gilman | 95 JGFonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. If Fonseca lacks the sheer weight and power of a Taylor, Dow or Warre, or the opulent sweetness and intensity of a Graham, it excels in its magnificently complex, intense bouquet of plummy, cedary, spicy fruit and long, broad, expansive flavors. With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage ports. When it is young, it often loses out in blind tastings to the heavier, weightier, more tannic wines, but I always find myself upgrading my opinion of Fonseca after it has had 7-10 years of age. The 1977 has developed magnificently in the bottle, and while it clearly needs another decade to reach its summit, it is the best Fonseca since the 1970 and 1963.Robert Parker | 93 RP

100
WS
As low as $235.00
1983 nairac Dessert
As low as $65.00
1985 fonseca Port

The 1985 Fonseca is still youthful in appearance with hardly any ageing on the rim. The nose offers kirsch, sloes and Christmas cake. With time, there are subtle notes of dried fig and dates beginning to emerge and add to the complexity. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced on the supple, rounded entry. It is not quite as complex as the aromatics, with dates and dried fig, the finish mellow and refined. It is very elegant for a Fonseca, weighty but supremely well focused. This is a fabulous Fonseca that is ready to drink now, but will age for another 30 or 40 years. Drink now-2030+.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 93 RP-NMVery dark and youthful ruby-purple. Very intense aromas of blackberry and black licorice. Full-bodied and lightly sweet, with chewy tannins and a rich licorice, blackberry undertone. Still tight. Drinkable now, but it needs a few more years. ’77/’85/’97 blind Port retrospective. Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe best wine from a difficult decade for Port. Still youthful on the nose; gently perfumed floral character. Sweet, fleshy palate with gentle, berry fruit backed by peppery tannic grip. Dry finish. (Drink between 2014-2025)Decanter | 91 DEC

96
DEC
As low as $105.00
1986 dyquem Dessert White

There is no other wine in the world like it, and there is no other luxury wine that can possibly justify its price as much as Yquem. The remarkable amount of painstaking labor necessary to produce the nectar known as Yquem is almost impossible to comprehend. This is a fascinating effort. With greater evidence of botrytis than the colossal 1983, but less power and alcohol, the 1986 Yquem tastes reminiscent of the 1975, only more precocious, as well as more concentrated. Several highly respected Bordeaux negociants who are Yquem enthusiasts claim the 1986 Yquem is the greatest wine produced at the property since the legendary 1937. Its enthralling bouquet of pineapples, sauteed hazelnuts, vanillin, and ripe apricots is breathtaking. Compellingly concentrated, the breadth as well as depth of flavor seemingly know no limits. This full-bodied, powerful, yet impeccably balanced Yquem should provide memorable drinking for 40-55 more years. Like the 1983, this is another winemaking tour de force. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2040. Last tasted, 4/91.Robert Parker | 98 RP

98
RP
As low as $510.00
1988 dyquem Dessert White

The 1988 is a backward-styled Yquem, built along the lines of the extraordinary 1975. With a honeyed, smoky, orange/coconut/pineapple-scented nose, this powerful wine possesses full body, layers of highly concentrated, extracted flavors, considerable botrytis, and a sensational finish. Last tasted 12/97.Robert Parker | 99 RPThe 1988 Yquem is a vintage that I have drunk with enormous pleasure on numerous occasions. This last bottle was the perfect ending to a horizontal of 1988 Roumier wines at Noizé. It was a late harvest that lasted until All Saints Day (1 November). A total of 6 tries were necessary through the vineyard, each gifting plenty of botrytised fruit. Deep amber in hue, it offers wonderful aromas of mandarin, orange blossom, wax resin and a light adhesive scent. I was actually quite taken aback but the splendid delineation and life-affirming vitality of this example, hints of crème brûlée interwoven through the honeyed fruit, Clementine and hints of caramelised pear. It fans out wonderfully on the finish. Without doubt, this was the best bottle of 1988 Yquem that I have encountered.Vinous Media | 96 VMBroad and soft, with creamed apricot, mango, date, honey, caramel and marzipan notes, all framed by toasted brioche and musk accents. The flattering finish lets orange curd and flan details glide through. A touch shy on tension, but shows lovely range.—Non-blind Yquem vertical (July 2014). Drink now through 2030. 6,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château d’Yquem (Sauternes)) This particular bottle of ’88 Yquem was drunk at a big event at Château Cheval Blanc a few years ago and I wondered at the time if it was a slightly advanced bottle. The wine was already fairly dark in color for the vintage and offered up an almost tertiary bouquet of orange peel, crème brulée, honey, apricot, almonds, a lovely and complex base of soil tones and buttery new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, complex and surprisingly evolved for Yquem from a good, racy vintage like 1988, with a deep core, modest acids and very good length and grip on the finish. This was so stunning in its youth that I have to believe that this bottle was somehow a bit forward. (Drink between 2012-2045)John Gilman | 90+ JG

99
RP
As low as $269.00
1989 dyquem Dessert White

A remarkable, profound example of how top Sauternes wines age, with intense notes of marmalade on the nose. Although it seemed there were some hints of passerillage, Sandrine Garbay confirmed no dried grapes made it into the blend. A subtle note of botrytis adds even more to the aromatics. Amber in hue, the palate is laden with complex flavours of tropical fruits, citrus notes of lime and orange zest, all supported by cleansing acidity and an intriguing mineral undertow. This still has at least 20 years ahead of it, perhaps a lot more. From a year where the growing season was very warm, before a cool and rain-affected September and much cooler October. 80% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Residual Sugar: 127g/L. (Drink between 2022-2040)0.Decanter | 100 DECThe 1989 Yquem is my favourite of the triumvirate and this bottle was stellar. It explodes from the glass with scents of quince, acacia, honeysuckle, saffron and wild heather (a trait that I have observed previously). What marks this out is the stunning delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with tangerine, fig, marmalade and quince. A livewire Yquem with enormous depth and intensity, a bit more swagger than the 1988, a bit more precision-tooled than the 1990. Fabulous. Tasted blind at a private dinner in Bordeaux.Vinous Media | 99 VMThe favorite sweet wine of millionaires, Chateau d’Yquem has, not unexpectedly, turned in a brilliant effort with their newly released 1989. It is a large-scaled, massively rich, unctuously-textured wine that should evolve effortlessly for a half century or more. It does not reveal the compelling finesse and complexity of the 1988 or 1986, but it is a far heavier, richer wine than either of those vintages. It is reminiscent of the 1976, with additional fat and glycerin. The wine is extremely alcoholic and rich, with a huge nose of smoky, honey-covered coconuts and overripe pineapples and apricots. As with most young vintages of Yquem, the wine’s structure is barely noticeable. These wines are so highly extracted and rich yet approachable young, it is difficult to believe they will last for 50 or more years. The 1989 is the richest Yquem made in the eighties, and it has an edge in complexity over the powerhouse 1983. It remains to be seen whether this wine will develop the extraordinary aromatic complexity possessed by the promising 1988 and 1986 Yquems. Last tasted 11/97.Robert Parker | 97 RPVery classy and beautiful, packed with botrityzed flavors. Marvelous blend of vanilla, cream, tobacco-box notes, with a lot of oak on it for now but also loads of pure, clean and elegant fruit. An infant that will age for a long time.--Yquem vertical. Best after 2020. 12,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

100
DEC
As low as $269.00
1989 rieussec Dessert White

Dense and amazing with a thick mouthfeel and so much dried apple, apricot, and lemon character. It's long, sweet and intense. So much going on here. Love it. Love the 1989 vintage for Sauternes.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 1989 Rieussec is a fat, rich, broad-shouldered wine, with great depth and richness, and a formidably high alcohol content. I did not detect as much botrytis as I would have hoped. Nevertheless, it is a blockbuster, massive wine in the style of the richest 1983s. Its evolution should be fascinating to follow. Anticipated maturity: 1998-2015. Last tasted, 1/93.Robert Parker | 94 RP(Château Rieussec (Sauternes)) The 1989 Rieussec is drinking very well indeed at age twenty-seven, but it is already well into its plateau and is not likely to be one of the more long-distance vintages from this era at the estate. The nose is quite honeyed in its blend of apricot, orange, chalky soil tones, butterscotch, toasted coconut, incipient notes of walnuts and plenty of the aforementioned honey. On the palate the wine is deep. full-bodied, complex and already getting quite tertiary in profile, with crisp framing acids and very good length and grip on the fully mature, but still vibrant finish. This is a very good time to be drinking this vintage of Rieussec. (Drink between 2016-2026).John Gilman | 92 JGLively, complex, fresh aromas of tropical fruit, honey and spicy oak. Sweet and viscous in the middle palate; kept fresh by apple and pear notes and harmonious acidity. Very concentrated and deep. Very long on the aftertaste; has the sheer material to buffer its alcohol. Rieussec switched to later bottling with this vintage: 30 rather than 24 months after the harvest.Vinous Media | 92 VM

94
RP
As low as $99.95
1990 dyquem Dessert White

1990: An extraordinary effort, Yquem’s 1990 is a rich and fabulously superb, sweet wine. This wine also possesses lots of elegance and finesse. The wine’s medium gold color is accompanied by an exceptionally sweet nose of honeyed tropical fruits, peaches, coconut, and apricots. High quality, subtle toasty oak is well-integrated. The wine is massive on the palate, with layers of intensely ripe botrytis-tinged, exceptionally sweet fruit. Surprisingly well-integrated acidity, and a seamless, full-bodied power and richness have created a wine of remarkable harmony and purity. Certainly it is one of the richest Yquems I have ever tasted, with 50-100 years of potential longevity. An awesome Yquem! Anticipated maturity: 2003-2050+.Robert Parker | 99 RPHard to contain this wine within the contours of the glass - this is exuberant, concentrated and luscious. Full of blood orange, nectarine, saffron, touches of caramelised ginger, truffle and crème brûlée. A see-saw of zesty acidity and luscious sweetness, this is a beautiful wine that still has decades ahead of it. Owned by the Lur Saluces family at the time, clearly showing why Yquem stands in its own category in the appellation. Drinking Window 2021 - 2050.Decanter | 98 DECTruly superb. Yellow with a gold hue. Intense spice, honey and dried orange peel aromas.Full-bodied, very sweet and very alive. Vibrant Sauternes that goes on and on on the palate. Doesn’t get much better than this. Beautiful now,but wait.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 18,750 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSFull-blown aromas of caramel, toffee, honey, white chocolate and damp earth; slightly Tokaj-like. Hugely concentrated and layered in the mouth; extraordinary sweetness cut by harmonious acidity. As with the best vintages of Yquem, the finish goes on for a minute or more. Stains, and stuns, the palate. A huge wine, surprisingly extravagant on the nose (earlier bottles have been far more restrained) but completely unevolved and a bit musclebound on the palate. May ultimately merit a higher score.Vinous Media | 94+ VM

99
RP
As low as $269.00
1990 rieussec Dessert White

Blockbuster. Wow. Wonderful. Dark yellow with a gold hue. Full-bodied and very sweet, with thick and powerful fruit. The spice, orange peel, honey and dried apricot character goes on and on. Long, long finish.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2005. 6,250 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSExotic aromas of truffle, game, dried fruits and tobacco; strong impression of botrytis. Powerful on entry, then very sweet (74 grams/liter r.s.) and very concentrated, with an amazingly glyceral texture. Powerful and very deep. Still some sulfur to be absorbed. One of the richest wines of this group, really thick with extract. Finishes firm, youthful and very, very long. This vintage was picked in a single trie extending from late October into November.Vinous Media | 94 VMThe 1990 was precocious and flattering, with its tropical fruit-scented nose, big, spicy, rich, high alcohol flavors, and a fine underpinning of acidity giving everything clarity and crispness. The 1990 will be drinkable at an earlier age than the 1989, but it will last just as long. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted 11/94Robert Parker | 90 RP

97
WS
As low as $110.00
1992 fonseca Port

Fonseca has scored in both the 1991 and 1992 vintages. The 1992 is a majestic young port that should ultimately rival, perhaps even surpass this house’s most recent great efforts (1985, 1977, 1970, 1963). This colossal vintage port reveals a nearly opaque black/purple color, and an explosive nose of jammy black fruits, licorice, chocolate, and spices. Extremely full-bodied and unctuously-textured, this multi-layered, enormously-endowed port reveals a finish that lasts for over a minute. It is a magnificent port that will age well for 30-40 years. Importer: Kobrand, Inc., New York, NY; tel. (212) 490-9300.Robert Parker | 97 RPIntensely fruity on the nose, with lots of blackberry and violet. Full-bodied and lightly sweet, with slightly astringent tannins and a medium finish. Silky. Still very tight. Needs time. ’91/’92 Port retrospective. Best after 2010. 8,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

98
RP-HG
As low as $129.00
1995 dyquem Dessert

Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 1995 Chateau d’Yquem is moving into its secondary aroma phase. A deep golden color, it has a dense and almost Barsac-like bouquet with tangerine, apricot, acacia and melted candle wax. It displays good intensity, unfolding beautifully in the glass. The palate has a strident opening, with a slight bitter edge that lends this Yquem great tension. One can discern layers of marmalade infused with honey fruit, with a powerful, spicy finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is drinking perfectly now, but will surely age with style over many years. Tasted March 2014.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 95 RP-NM

As low as $545.00
1997 dyquem Dessert White

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.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.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPA pure style, with intense acacia, white peach, apricot, nectarine and tangerine notes that are long and racy, set against a gorgeous singed almond backdrop. Pulls together orchard and tropical fruit flavors on the long, refined finish.—Non-blind Yquem vertical (July 2014). Drink now through 2035. 14,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 1997 Yquem comes from a season that witnessed the earliest-ever flowering (5 May) and an early picking that began on 4 September, though botrytis failed to develop, necessitating seven tries through the vineyard over 32 days of picking that lasted until 4 November. One aspect to note is how deep in colour this is compared to the 2003 that Sandrine Garbay served alongside. The nose offers marmalade and quince, hints of yellow plum and honey, not quite as precise as the previous bottle that I tasted in May the previous year, though it displays less of that adhesive trait. The palate has a lovely piquancy, very tangy with driving marmalade and Seville orange notes. The 5g/L of total acidity maintains the tension of the 1997, though maybe it is a little more evolved than I might have expected. Still, it remains a magnificent Yquem that will last many decades. Tasted from ex-château bottle in London.Vinous Media | 93 VM

96
RP
As low as $400.00
1998 dyquem Dessert

The 1998 Chateau Yquem was released several months ago. This estate does not allow tasting from cask (where the wine spends 42 months), and it is not released until five years after the vintage. The 1998 Yquem (95 points) is a great success. Made in an elegant style, it is not a blockbuster such as 1990, 1989, and 1988. It is well-delineated, with wonderfully sweet aromas of creme brulee, pineapples, apricots, and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, it is not as sweet as the biggest/richest Yquem vintages, but it is gorgeously pure, precise, and strikingly complex. Already approachable, it should evolve for 30-50 years ... without a doubt.Robert Parker | 95 RPPale gold. Knockout aromas of creme brulee, coconut, vanilla bean, honey and orange peel. Lush and seductively silky in the mouth; its creamy, seamless texture makes it seem deceptively accessible today but sound acid structure should keep it going for 20 years or more. Not hugely sweet or tropical but very complex and fine. Firm, hazelnutty finish offers great length, if not quite the grip of the ’89.Vinous Media | 95 VM

95
ST
As low as $210.00
1999 d'Yquem

The 1999 was particularly impressive for the vintage. It was superbly focused and beautiful on the nose, with sugared lemons, tropical fruit and maple syrup character. Full-bodied and thick, yet very fine, it was extremely sweet and long.Wine Spectator | 94 WSShowing extra maturation with a deeper colour in the glass, this is an elegant and precise Yquem which doesn’t have the concentration of the greatest vintages but is still classically structured with notable acidity and grip on the palate. Lacks a bit of complexity compared to some of the other wines tasted, but still a fine Sauternes which is at its peak now, but will keep for at least another decade too. 1999 was a difficult vintage, with rain in September and October.DECANTER | 93 DEC(Château d’Yquem (375 ml.)) I was very surprised to like the 1999 Yquem a bit better than I liked the 2001, as the vintage in general seems to be decidedly stronger in Sauternes in 2001. The 1999 Yquem offers up a complex and classic nose of toasted coconut, oranges, honey, butter, lovely soil tones, fresh apricot and a lovely framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and quite crisp, with lovely focus and balance, excellent mid-palate depth and a very long, bright and poised finish. A lovely bottle of Yquem. (375 ml.) (Drink between 2007-2040)John Gilman | 93 JGMedium gold in color, the 1999 d'Yquem has shed its puppy fat and transformed into compelling cinnamon toast, creme caramel and cashew notions with emerging notes of beurre blanc, honeycomb, ginger snaps and praline over a core of peach preserves and apple pie. The palate is softly spoken with a refreshing backbone carrying loads of delicate savory and stone fruit preserves nuances to a long, beautifully restrained finish. At the 20-year mark, this wine is in the midst of its ideal drinking window, and while I hasten to add that there is no rush to drink up, there’s also no need to delay your gratification either. The alcohol this vintage is 13.8%, while the residual sugar is 128 grams per liter, and the total acidity is 4.5 grams per liter of H2SO4.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPThe 1999 Yquem is a wine I’ve tasted several times in recent months since it is available by the glass in a local restaurant. It’s a middle-of-the-road Yquem, a fine Sauternes but nothing special. The aromatics always feel a little advanced for the wine’s age, offering tangerine, mandarin and light butterscotch scents but perhaps just missing the clarity and complexity of top vintages. The palate has pleasing viscosity and is spicier than expected, with touches of ginger complementing the orange peel and dried apricot notes toward the conservative finish. Tasted at The Jetty restaurant.Vinous Media | 90 VM

94
WS
As low as $210.00
2000 dyquem Dessert White

Things were more difficult in Sauternes than in the rest of Bordeaux in the 2000 vintage, with a brilliant first picking in early October that showed all the promise of the vintage, but with the later crop ruined by heavy rain. In the end Yquem made 20% of its usual yield, but the success of the earlier growing season comes through with luxuriously concentrated apricot and marmalade flavours, laced with bitter orange, lime zest, butterscotch, saffron and white truffles. 128g/l of residual sugar, with total acidity of 4.5. The team behind this wine included current winemaking director Sandrine Garbay, who had begun two years earlier in 1998, with the château already partly owned by Bernard Arnault of LVMH (he bought his first shares in 1996) but still headed up by director Alexandre de Lur Saluces, whose family had been at Yquem since 1875. Drinking Window 2020 - 2050.Decanter | 96 DECForward and flattering, with unctuous marmalade, blood orange, apricot chutney and ginger notes. Juicy and engaging, but without the finely beaded acidity to stretch out fully.—Non-blind Yquem vertical (July 2014). Drink now through 2035.Wine Spectator | 92 WSA rich Yquem, with coffee, dried orange skin, and dried apples. Full and sweet, with a round body and very yummy. A touch of bitterness on the palate.James Suckling | 91 JSServed from an ex-chateau bottle. The millennial 2000 Chateau d’Yquem is a valiant effort in one of the most challenging Sauternes vintages in recent memory. The 2000 is quite deep in color. The nose is crisp and well-defined but not the most complex, as you would expect from a truly challenging growing season in Sauternes. It is pleasant in its own way with delicate scents of tangerine, yellow flowers and Mirabelle. The palate is well-balanced with marmalade tinged opening. I like the acidity here, an Yquem with good race, although it does feel a little tapered toward the finish. Drink now-2025. Tasted March 2014.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 90 RP-NM

92
WS
As low as $590.00
2001 climens Dessert White

A prodigious offering, the 2001 Climens’ light medium bold color with a greenish hue is followed by ethereal aromas of tropical fruits (primarily pineapple), honeysuckle, and flowers. It is a medium-bodied wine of monumental richness, extraordinary precision/delineation, great purity, and moderate sweetness. The finish seemingly lasts forever. This monumental effort is the stuff of legends. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040+.Robert Parker | 100 RPLoads of orange peel and dried apricots on the nose here. Full-bodied, with a wild and exciting palate. Sweet yet racy. Electrifying. Great class and elegance. One of the best Climens I have tasted. Best after 2010. 1,955 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSThe 2001 Climens has a well-defined, complex bouquet of dried honey, peach skin, quince and a light beeswax scent. Tight at first, it only takes a few swirls of the glass to get going. The palate is where the action is: very intense and concentrated with layers of botrytized fruit, lightly spiced with tangy marmalade, quince and nectarine notes, merging into saffron and gingerbread toward the very engaging, persistent finish. This is a magnificent Barsac that is only beginning to show what it is capable of.Vinous Media | 96 VM

100
RP
As low as $145.00
2001 dyquem Dessert White

There are 10,000 cases of this perfect sweet white Bordeaux. The 2001 Yquem reveals a hint of green in its light gold color. While somewhat reticent aromatically, with airing, it offers up honeyed tropical fruit, orange marmalade, pineapple, sweet creme brulee, and buttered nut-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied with gorgeously refreshing acidity as well as massive concentration and unctuosity. Everything is uplifted and given laser-like focus by refreshing acidity. This large-scaled, youthful Yquem appears set to take its place among the most legendary vintages of the past, and will age effortlessly for 75+ years. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2100+.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe greatest young Yquem I have ever tasted from bottle. Yellow, with a golden hue and an almost green tint. Intense aromas of botrytis, spices and blanched almonds follow through to honey, maple syrup, dried apricot and pineapple. Full-bodied, sweet, thick and powerful, with layers of fruit and a bright, lively finish. Coats the palate yet remains exciting. So balanced and refined, showing the pedigree that only this Sauternes estate can deliver. Best after 2012. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSWhat a pure wine, with honey, caramel, cooked apple, bon bon, and pear tart. Dried apricots and peaches develop with time in the glass. What a palate, it is very sweet and rich at the impact, but then it’s dense and opulent like a Grand Cru Burgundy, think Montrachet. Apples, honey, and pineapples with hints of mango on the palate. This is an incredible wine, a real dream, a legend. 150 grams of RS.James Suckling | 100 JSJust weeks after tasting the 2001 Château d’Yquem at the estate, another bottle was served at a lunch in London and it was perfection. The aromatics are practically identical and likewise the palate, but this bottle, which had been decanted, displays a scintilla more tension, perhaps more "vibrancy" that so effortlessly counterbalances the richness. Irrespective of points, it is simply one of the most magnificent wines of any kind that can pass your lips.Vinous Media | 100 VMBright medium gold. Voluptuous yet vibrant nose, with aromas of peach, mandarins, honey and crème brûlée. It’s markedly sweet, with 150g/L of residual sugar, but exquisite acidity keeps it taut and textured. Very elegant, no trace of heaviness, and the finish is lifted, poised and very long. Tasted from double magnum (as one does). Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 98 DEC(Château d’Yquem) I had anticipated liking this wine more than I ended up doing, as 2001 is an excellent vintage in Sauternes and well, Yquem is Yquem. But for whatever reason, this bottle of the 2001 was in the good, not great realm, and decidedly less exciting than I had anticipated from the combination of top year and legendary estate. The nose is quite marked by its new wood at this stage of its evolutionary cycle, as the wine offers up notes of apricot, honey, odd (for Sauternes) minty tones, orange, a touch of coconut and plenty of new wood that carries a rather unexpected menthol component to its aromatic signature. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, sweet and a touch flat, with good mid-palate depth, better wood integration than the nose shows and sound length and grip on the finish. But overall this is either in an extremely awkward stage, or it is a swing and a miss in this vintage. I would age it at least another five or six years to see if the wood on the nose becomes subsumed into the other components. Even if the wine evolves along a best-case scenario, I would be shocked to see it ever emerge as a great Yquem. (Drink between 2015-2050)John Gilman | 90 JG

100
RP
As low as $685.00
2001 guiraud Dessert White

Golden yellow. Butterscotch and vanilla, with hints of ripe apples. Full-bodied, with lots of sweetness and a spicy apricot and honey aftertaste. Excellent concentration and balance. Loads of botrytis character on the finish. Intense. Hard not to drink now because it’s so luscious and rich. Best after 2008. 11,665 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSIntensely fruity and rich with wonderful sweetness and loads of spicy and honey character with a dried apricot undertone. It hasn’t changed much since I last tasted it, just bottled. Great 2001. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JSA medium gold color is accompanied by notes of caramelized oranges, citrus, honeysuckle, creme brulee, and smoke. Full-bodied and opulent, with tremendous intensity, good acidity, and a persistent finish that lasts nearly a minute, this large-scaled, thick, heady Guiraud is one of the finest examples from this estate that I have ever tasted. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.Robert Parker | 94 RPBurnt orange colour, with a seductive woodsmoke curl out of the glass. More evolved in character than some, but with the shift in gears comes a savoury, walnut, rare books edge that I love. The fruit character comes through as concentrated nectarine and peach pit, giving both texture and concentration to the finish. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 93 DECThe 2001 Guiraud sports a fragrant but not intense nose, featuring the lanolin and apricot notes that I observed previously; touches of grilled walnut surface with time. The lightly spiced palate is very well balanced with a honeyed opening and ginger-infused quince and marmalade flavors. It builds nicely on the finish without fully letting rip. A commendable, delicious Guiraud that should give another 15–20 years of drinking pleasure.Vinous Media | 92 VM

96
WS
As low as $75.00
2001 la tour blanche Dessert White

La Tour Blanche’s spectacular 2001 boasts a light to medium gold color as well as a big, exotic nose of tropical fruits, honeysuckle, orange marmalade, and creme brulee. In the mouth, notions of peaches, lychees, and caramelized citrus give way to a weighty, full-bodied, concentrated yet incredibly precise and well-delineated sweet white. It is a tour de force in Sauternes! Anticipated maturity: 2009-2035.Robert Parker | 97 RPSoft burnished gold, and lighter in frame that some in the lineup with excellent concentration and uplift. A gentle scattering of white flowers as you travel through the palate, with an enveloping floral fragrance of honeysuckle and lilies. Smoked citrus zest and the tertiary notes of an older Sauternes come in through the finish, along with the caramelised toffee-edged apricots that showcase the evolution of the wine. This is excellent and would be beautiful paired with an apricot tart. Makes me want to cook an apricot tart in fact, which has got to be a good thing. Holds its nerve when I go back after 15 minutes, showing excellent grip. Drinking Window 2021 - 2042.Decanter | 95 DECThe 2001 La Tour Blanche has a finely knit bouquet of yellow flowers mixed with wild honey, acacia and white peach. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity and almost unctuous in the mouth, showing what feels like more residual sugar than its peers. Voluminous and mouth-filling on the finish but missing the tension that would take it up a level. Still, this is a hedonistic delight.Vinous Media | 94 VMVery intense aromas of candied lemons, fresh flowers and vanilla. Full-bodied, very sweet and spicy. Long, long finish. Excellent. Best after 2009. 4,630 cases made, 250 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

97
RP
As low as $60.00
2001 nairac Dessert

Intensely botrytised, with loads of allspice and mineral character, yet lively and exciting. Full-bodied, racy and very long. Fresh sweetness.Wine Spectator | 95-98 WSPale gold. Exotic aromas of ripe apricot and sultana raisin, with liqueur-like and candied notes. Very sweet, concentrated and powerful. Extremely young, chewy and dense, with sugar, acidity and alcohol balanced at a high level. Note of licorice. Shows excellent delineation and structure from the outset, as well as terrific length.Vinous Media | 89-92 VMThe Château Nairac 2001 has quite an intense bouquet with dried quince, nougat and hazelnut aromas, slightly more oxidative than its peers and yet still attractive. The palate is well balanced with spicy notes on the entry, well-judged acidity and a lovely marmalade-driven, harmonious finish. This is aging very well and should offer another 10 years of pleasure, possibly more.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 91 RP-NM

95-100
WS
As low as $70.00
2001 rieussec Dessert White

This is a crazy wine! It’s sweet, but not sugary. Mushrooms, furniture wax, spices then dried oranges, lemons, pineapples, and just a hint of vanilla. Full-bodied, with great density and power, yet balanced and refined. So amazing, but give this five to six years still. Pull the cork in 2016. 145 grams RS.James Suckling | 100 JSLike lemon curd on the nose, turning to honey and caramel. Full-bodied and very sweet, with fantastic concentration of ripe and botrytized fruit, yet balanced and refined. Electric acidity. Lasts for minutes on the palate. This is absolutely mind-blowing. This is the greatest young Sauternes I have ever tasted. Best after 2010. 12,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSA monumental effort, the 2001 Rieussec boasts a light to medium gold color in addition to a fabulous perfume of honeysuckle, smoky oak, caramelized tropical fruits, creme brulee, and Grand Marnier. The wine is massive and full-bodied yet neither over the top nor heavy because of good acidity. With intense botrytis as well as a 70-75-second finish, this amazing Sauternes will be its apogee between 2010-2035.Robert Parker | 99 RPA magical Sauternes that shows how good the 2001 vintage was for the region, the 2001 Château Rieussec offers a spectacular nose of caramelized quince, honeyed flowers, crème brulée, and exotic spices. Wonderfully pure and precise, with good acidity, it still brings a monster of a mid-palate and has boatloads of fruit and opulence, flawless balance, and a brilliant finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JD(Château Rieussec (Sauternes)) The 2001 Château Rieussec has reached a very good point in its evolution to start drinking the wine. The bouquet is fresh, wide open and quite beautiful in its constellation of toasted coconut, apricot, orange zest, honey, a lovely base of chalky soil tones and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full, deep and focused, with blossoming complexity, lovely acids and fine length and grip on the suave, refined and zesty finish. Good juice. (Drink between 2015-2050)John Gilman | 93 JGThe 2001 Rieussec is deeper in color than its peers, though this did come from a half-bottle. The bouquet features marmalade, peach and mango scents, though I aver that it does not deliver the mineralité of other, dare I say, more successful vintages. The palate is much better, offering harmonious honeyed fruit, marmalade, orange peel, apricot and light gingerbread notes. It feels long and tender on the finish. This is a great Rieussec that is slightly compromised by the aromatics.Vinous Media | 93 VM

100
WS
As low as $135.00
2001 suduiraut sauternes Dessert White

A prodigious effort, possibly the finest Suduiraut since 1959, the medium gold-colored 2001 offers notes of creme brulee, caramelized citrus, Grand Marnier, honeysuckle, and other exotic fruits as well as a pleasant touch of oak. With terrific acidity, a voluptuous/unctuous palate, and sweet, powerful flavors buttressed by crisp acidity, it is a phenomenal Sauternes. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040.Robert Parker | 98 RPGorgeous aromas of honey, passion fruit, mango and candied lemon rind. Full-bodied and ultraconcentrated, yet balanced and refined. It lasts for minutes on the palate. This has just about everything in the right place. Stunning. Best after 2009. 6,665 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThis has rich caramelised nectarine and apricot fruits, a sense of uplift and steel through the core. It is sweet in its texture but not in its expression, and there is such a lift through the finish that you feel confident it has a long life ahead. On the more savoury spectrum of fruit, white pear dipped in saffron and cardamom. Yet again when you come back after 20 minutes it is the dried apricots that take the lead. Good quality, concentrated and pointed. 150g/l residual sugar. 40% new oak. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 95 DECThe 2001 Suduiraut has a very well-defined bouquet of marmalade, honeysuckle, touches of kerosene and pine, all focused and vigorous. The palate is balanced with a fine bead of acidity, fresh and vibrant, featuring Seville orange marmalade mixed with orange peel, peach and wild honey; it displays a little more delineation than I have noticed compared to previous bottles, and great cohesion and persistence on the finish. Excellent.Vinous Media | 95 VMThis is just starting to open up, with a dried lemon, meringue, pineapple, and honey. Full and very sweet with a spicy character. Long and tangy, yummy. No need to wait -- enjoy.James Suckling | 93 JS

98
RP
As low as $94.95
2003 dyquem Dessert

A massive Yquem, this has a dense palate that is almost chewy like a red. Full and very sweet, with notes of dried apricot, pineapple, and papaya on the palate. Long, with a vanilla-coconut tart finish. What a wine, voluptuous, sexy, and luscious. 147 grams of RS. Pull the cork after 2015.James Suckling | 98 JSSquarely on the tropical side of the spectrum, with mango, papaya and pineapple fruit laced with a marmalade note. Long and very caressing through the finish, but never heady or overpowering, as orange pâte de fruit, ginger and singed almond accents lend cut and precision. Shows the heat of the vintage while retaining energy and drive. Impressive.—Non-blind Yquem vertical (July 2014). Drink now through 2040.Wine Spectator | 97 WSThe average June temperature for 2003 was the warmest ever recorded at Yquem since they installed their first weather station in 1896. And things were only just starting to heat up. This notoriously hot vintage nonetheless produced some very pleasant Bordeaux surprises, Yquem being one. As readers can guess, obtaining the necessary sugar levels was not the problem this year. If it was a question of sugar alone, berries could well have been harvested in August. But come September, the wait was on for the botrytis. Fortunately, a little rain beginning on the 5th of September kick-started proceedings, and with the help of continued warm temperatures, the noble rot took off like a rocket! After this, frenetic harvesting and strict selection ensued. Harvest was over in a record nine days, resulting in a super rich, concentrated and full botrytized expression that beautifully does justice to both the vintage and to Yquem.Medium lemon-gold colored, the 2003 d’Yquem seems to be emerging from a slumber, awakening with gloriously expressive notes of ginger ale, pineapple upside-down cake, toasted hazelnuts, star anise, cinnamon stick and preserved mandarin peel plus hints of lemon butter, crushed rocks, musk perfume and chalk dust. Full-bodied, super concentrated and decadently unctuous, the palate exudes waves of preserved tropical fruits and citrus sparks charged with energetic freshness, finishing epically long and wonderfully spicy. Alcohol is 13.5% this year, while the residual sugar comes in at a whopping 147 grams per liter, nicely balanced by a total acidity of 4.2 grams per liter H2SO4.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe 2003 Yquem was a homogenous harvest picked over a single trie between 17 and 26 September. It has a rich and opulent nose, crème brûlée, marmalade and a melted candle wax aroma. The palate has more to offer than the nose: fine acidity, less closed than the aromatics, touches of orange rind and mandarin developing with time. This is very commendable given that I do not consider it a great Sauternes vintage. Tasted from ex-château bottle in London.Vinous Media | 93 VM

98
WS
As low as $210.00

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