Without doubt one of the world’s finest wine producers, Château d’Yquem is the stuff of legend, producing ‘liquid gold’ from an incredibly labour intensive process which goes some way towards justifying its extraordinarily high price. In fact, no expense is spared in its production, with pickers on constant alert for anywhere between one and a half to two months around harvest time, and numerous passes through the vineyards to select only the grapes at the right stage of development.
Yquem has enjoyed an illustrious history, having been under royal ownership (both French and British) from the 12th to the 15th century, and subsequently in the hands of the Lur-Saluces family from 1785 until LVMH acquired a majority shareholding in 1997.
A refined and elegant offering, Yquem 1976 is a stunning wine without being overly flamboyant. Plenty of honey, heather and orange peel are displayed on the nose with hints of peach and apricot. There is a huge yet refined concentration of fruit on the palate, featuring a continuation of the tropical aromas from the nose, with coconut and even banana and melon. A healthy streak of acidity contributes to the impeccable balance and cuts through the richness, and the finish seemingly lasts for ever. With plenty of life left in it, the 1976 really demonstrates the pedigree of Yquem and offers irrefutable confirmation of its status as the world’s greatest sweet white wine.