There's plenty happening on the nose with aromas of coconut ice, lavender, honey and apricot jam. It has some serious grunt on the palate with dense, concentrated flavours. It is rich, sweet and honeyed and freshens up nicely on the finish. A really good 2003 and a really good Yquem.
Intense, powerful, rich, concentrated - pick your superlative. Extremely complex slightly pithy dried apricots, old honey, some citrus flowers and musky spices; all in an almost thickly textured, alcoholic warmth. A lip-licking tour de force which could never be mistaken for anything other than Yquem in a hot, full-on botrytis year. So, what's the "but"?
I again note the slightly feisty finish, which I often comment on when I drink this wine, especially if it's not really cold. Yes, it's very, very long - and packed with concentrated, marvellous flavours right to the end - but the finish on this bottle (like some others), tasted a touch assertive - even prickly - and perhaps a touch greenish?? These are obviously oak characters, since the fruit is extremely ripe (14% alcohol).
Drunk well chilled but not cold, I've dropped off a point, with a question whether the oak is a touch assertive even for the glorious, voluptuous fruit. From a 375 ml bottle (I've drunk over 1 dozen, since release), more cellaring time may turn this question mark into a complexity plus but, if it happens, it may take a while. The colour is decidedly golden already so it may look quite dark before it's at its best. Alternatively, drink it a bit more chilled than usual.
My WOTN at CT SEA dinner at Lark amongst a group of great wines. Had great depth, viscosity, and almost oiliness in its texture, with great balance to the sweetness and acidity. It was open for business.
Wow – cop that! A powerful, complex, oh so distinctive Yquem nose of honeyed, dried apricots and perfumed, almost musky, oak together with lashings of botrytis, makes a great signpost to a wonderful palate.
* A rich, thick and luscious, indeed voluptuous (14% alc.) palate … * of very intense, complex and “lip-licking” flavours in the dried apricots and honey spectrum, with full-on botrytis … * plus well balanced, powerful acid and typical edgy Yquem oak, which has a beautiful musky dimension which perfectly complements the powerful fruit … * and with a distinctly warm mouth-feel from the hot year (and the oak) ... * the flavours linger for minutes after swallowing.
This is not an apologetic, shy wine. “Decadent” describes it well. I can smell the wine as I write this, with the glass over 60cm away! Some bottles I’ve drunk seemed more silky but the edgy oak of this bottle (especially as it warmed up a touch) was just right for it at the moment. Changes quite a bit with the temperature; which is a fun experiment. Much prefer it to that other hot year (1997) of the era, and I love the way it is developing. A truly glorious wine.
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(Château d'Yquem) From 375 ml - light medium golden yellow color; honeyed, tart apricot, ripe grapefruit, vanilla nose; rich, honeyed, unctuous, apricot palate, with less acidity than typical for Yquem; long finish 92+ pts.
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