2010 Chateau d’Yquem

Chateau d’Yquem – First Great Growth Barsac

RELEASED 1st July 2010 – £4,911/case bottles or £4,927/case half bottles

Bill Blatch: At the first tastings (including by myself in the video above), this vintage was often compared, on account of its liveliness, to the wonderful ’88. The same kind of vibrancy and “nerve” was mingling into the botrytis complexity in a similar way.  Now, whilst it has retained all these vibrant qualities, the wine has clearly softened and the comparison should maybe now include a touch of ’89?  Whatever, this is a great vintage of Yquem, in a prettier style to the monumental keeper vintages such as 09 or 05.
Decanter: 19/20 – Extraordinary purity of aromas, with an airy power difficult to rival, a new brilliant example of the actual style of the property, with the vintage’s monumental body completely hidden by the refinement of tactile sensations. Some are nostalgic for the epic oily bodies of the past, not I (even if I greatly admire them). Drink 2020-2070.
Jancis Robinson: 18.5/20 – Drink 2025-2055. ‘2010 was a cool year for us.’  Winter and autumn cold, good dry, warm summer.  Very healthy grapes, though quite a bit of rain on the flowering.  A bit of coulure on Sauvignon so less than usual in the blend, just 13% compared to the usual 20%.  Pale gold with slight greenness.  Gorgeous, classic nose.  Pear juice a go-go.  Absolutely stunning freshness as well as all the botrytis.  Classic.  Real punchy perfect savoury Sauternes.  Zesty and lovely with some chew on the end.  No shortage of botrytis.  Very distinctive and much less sweet than 2009.  (155 g/l in 2009, 141 g/l in 2010).  Refined finish.  Finished 5 Nov.  Five passes.  Real punch and zest.  Grapefruit peel.  But not a massive sweet bomb.  Alcohol 13.55%.
Neal Martin: 96-98/100 – Picked predominantly over 10 days from October 14, the 2010 d’Yquem has 141gms/L residual sugar and pH 3.80. It is a slow-burner, the nose understated at first but unfurling with each passing moment with subtle scents of freshly sliced apricots, Clementine, clear honey and white flowers. There is an underlying minerality that really defines this bouquet. The palate is similar to the nose, revealing hidden facets with almost each swirl of the glass – orange blossom, limestone, white peach and honeysuckle. This is such a precise d’Yquem; it is after you have swallowed the wine that one comprehends just how brilliant it is.
Wine Spectator: 93-96/100 – Tropical and inviting, with lush mango, fig and papaya aromas followed by pineapple and creamed banana. The long tangerine finish is flattering and very open now, but the length is clearly there. Tasted non-blind.
Asian Palate: 95-97/100 – Intensely aromatic, with honeysuckle, marmalade, and candied citrus notes, the 2010 Yquem is a wine of amazing freshness and vibrancy of flavour, with layers of sweet flowers and ripe stone fruits, and great substance and depth. More of a middleweight than the 2009, the 2010 Yquem weighed in at 140 gm/l of residual sugar versus 155g/l in the 2009.
Wine Enthusiast: 96-98
Panos Kakaviatos: 95-97/100 – Tasted on the morning of 6 April, this Château d’Yquem 2010 is fabulous Sauternes. Celestial is the word used by Decanter’s Sarah Kemp and I agree. It is more Barsac than Sauternes perhaps. Although the acidity is the same as in 2009, the 2010 has 15 grams less residuaal sugar. Could that explain its elegance? Lovely and focused notes of white pear, juicy white pear, with the finest botrytis in the form of delicate tea aromas lull your palate into a real bliss, but then there is concentration and richness, but oh so subtle. Yquem at the top of its game here.
James Suckling: 94-95/100
Jane Anson: 97+/100 – After a hot and dry growing season, winemaker Sandrine Garbay reported that 2010 was the first time she completed harvest and cellar work in jumpers. This cool finish (the last grapes came in on November 4, so perhaps not entirely surprising) has given a gossamer lightness to Yquem this year. 13.55% alcohol, 141g of residual sugar, but so silky and soft in texture, the sweetness just floats away. 87% semillon, 13% sauvignon blanc. 3.8 acidity total and 3.8 in pH. Good production, 50% of the overall harvest gone into the first wine but still managed a higher quantity than usual. 20hl/h= generous production.  Drink 2020-2060.
Tim Atkin: 95/100
Wine-Pages.com: 97-98/100 – Six passes through the vineyard, 141g/l sugar and harvested late. Lovely apricot and barley sugar botrytis immediately evident. Delightful little leaf tea and orange notes. Rich and fragrant. Fabulous palate: really fresh, with opulent richness and that juicy nectarine elegance and soft honeyed notes. There’s some exotic mango and white flower lift, the acidity is excellent, with a touch of nuttiness and really great length. This has fabulous elegance and richness in combination, and really vibrant character.
Rene Gabriel: 20/20
Matthew Jukes: 18.5/20
Chris Kissack: 18-19/20 – Residual sugar 141 g/l, alcohol 13.5%. Lovely fruit character on the nose, with a fruit salad character. Very composed, a very elegant presence here, fresh and creamed and lightly honeyed, more a textural suggestion rather than a flavour or aroma element. Very defined and fresh. The style on the palate is in the same keeping, fresh, yet textured and harmonious, and so very typical for Yquem. There is botrytis here, showing through both in terms of texture and flavour. What is most impressive is the integration of the components, the slightly liquorous botrytis texture, and the fresh floral overtones lying with the exotic and citrus fruit tinges. And with it there is a fine grip and lovely acidity, that grip showing very nicely in the end which is freshened by some lovely acidity as well. Brilliant.


Primeur 2010 #1 La phase végétative / The growing season from Château d’Yquem on Vimeo.

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