1980 d'Yquem, Sauternes

SKU #1082602 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This year is a perfect example of a vintage that was much better for the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes than it was for the red wines. Yquem produced its greatest wine since the twin titans of 1975 and 1976. Medium golden, with a big, opulent, honeyed, oaky, flowery, tropical fruit bouquet, this wine is rich and concentrated, has very good acidity, a lot of botrytis, and a stunning finish. It is a great success, and it continues to evolve at a snail's pace. Anticipated maturity: Now-2035. (RP)  (1/1998)

Wine Spectator

 A good year for Sauternes, a very good vintage for Yquem. Fresh, with lemon, grapefruit and quince notes, this is lovely and 'sympathique', with honey tones but not much botrytis concentration. (PM)  (5/1999)

K&L Notes

91-93 points Wine Advocate's Neal Martin: "First tasted in January 2003 from a half-bottle. Deep amber. A deep honeyed nose. Syrupy. Not as subtle as the 1979. The palate is loaded with botrytis and as usual has very good acidity. This needs more time. Apricot and honey finish. I prefer the 1979 now, but 80 may last longer. Give it another 5 years and it would be similar to that wine. A second encounter in November 2004 validated my initial note: whereas the Yquem '79 seems to be declining, the 80 is gathering strength. A similar colour to the '79 though the nose is less intense, more floral with greater purity. The palate is admirable focus and concentration with slight lower acidity than the '79. Honey, apricot, almond with a strong citrus finish. Good length. On this occasion, the '80 wins over the '79."

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Price: $299.99
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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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