1998 d'Yquem, Sauternes (375ml)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Pale 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...
Lift and richness and electrified raisins! There's a lot of energy here. Medicine? Sinewy. Not the sweetest. (18/20)
In May 1999, James Suckling wrote in the Wine Spectator: "Another source of excitement in 1998 are the white dessert-style wines of Sauternes and Barsac. Although the vintage in this regard is less consistent in quality than 1997--which is outstanding for sweet wines--these two areas made some stupendous late-harvest wines. Some may perhaps even equal the quality of wines from such legendary years as 1990 or 1983."