1986 d'Yquem, Sauternes

SKU #1029986 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. (RP)  (1/1998)

K&L Notes

Neal Martin gives it 95 points in 2012: "Tasted at the 1982 dinner at The Square. The ’86 continues to cruise at high altitude, an effortless Yquem that if anything is improving at nigh 25-years of age. It has a glorious, pure, honeyed bouquet with patisserie notes, almond flakes and coconut. The palate is supremely well balanced with great weight and poise, the acidity dialled to perfect. It does not quite have the profundity on the finish to consider it on par with say, the 1989 or 2001. But it is drinking perfectly now and will continue to cruise for many years yet. Tasted April 2012." (Wine Journal, eRobertParker.com, 7/2012)

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Price: $424.99

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- A rich, viscous, full-flavored but subtly-scented and botrytis-prone white grape, Sémillon reaches magical heights when infected with "noble rot" and combined with even small amounts of the aromatic and high-acid Sauvignon Blanc to make Sauternes, one of the world's most revered and longest-lived wines, and in the sweet wines of surrounding regions like Barsac. Sémillon's most famous incarnation is in the wines of Château d'Yquem, one of the world's most expensive wines, and one that has been known to evolve for centuries. It frequently dominates, but not by much, in the oak-aged whites of Bordeaux's Graves and Pessac-Léognan, creating honeyed and viscous wines that are unlike any others. Elsewhere in Bordeaux and around France it takes on a supporting role in the wines of Entre-Deux-Mers and the Médoc. While planted throughout France, Europe, California and Washington, Sémillon's role as underling usually keeps it out of the spotlight with a few winery-specific exceptions. However, the grape is allowed to shine in Australia's Hunter Valley, where it is used to make an elegant dry wine often called, perplexingly, Hunter Valley Riesling. It also makes some incredible dry, oaked wines from the Barossa and lovely stickies in the style of Sauternes.


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