Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes

Sauternes are the famous white dessert wines from Bordeaux, France and Chateau d’Yquem is considered the greatest of them all. But when a half-bottle costs more than $200, it is not a wine that I get to drink very often, if at all. But this week, I had the privilege to taste the 2005 and the 2016 at a tasting and hence the liquid gold is the Please The Palate pick of the week.

Sauternes is located 40 miles south of Bordeaux city. The village is devoted to the production of high-quality dessert wines made primarily with Semillon, but also Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. The grapes ripen and are susceptible to “noble rot”, a common occurrence in Sauternes due to the climate, which causes the grapes to become partially raisined. The result is a sublime wine with concentrated flavors.

Chateau d’Yquem was founded in 1593 and is a First Growth Wine. It is the only Sauternes classified in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. This perceived superiority is what contributes to the higher prices.

Chateau d’Yquem 2016 has aromas of honey, lemon curd, pineapple, lime zest and orange blossoms. It is fresh and rich on the palate with a long finish.

Chateau d’Yquem 2005 is a brilliant golden color. The nose has citrus, apricot, floral and vanilla aromas and on the palate, it has a rich, velvety texture.

What a treat to taste the revered Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes this week and it is no doubt why it is the Please The Plate pick of the week.