Gravitas Without Peer: 1988 Chateau d'Yquem

Posted by Ian McFadden

Gravitas Without Peer
1988 Château d'Yquem
Yquem has no peers. Within their illustrious history, the 1988 is a legend.

The typical comparisons in terms of quality are with 1959 and the other great vintage of the decade, 1986. Stylistically, the zippy '88 has more in common with the great '75.

In short, '88 Yquem is an absolutely stunning and nearly immortal Sauternes.

I'm happy to offer 1988 Chateau Yquem for $389.95.

I was really happy to have found this very well priced parcel. Getting to offer Yquem with age on it and from a great vintage for sub-$400 is something I rarely get to do.

Yquem was the sole Sauternes classified as a Great First Growth in the original classification of 1855. It remains the sole Premier Cru Supérieur in Sauternes. Curnonsky, the famous 20th century Parisian "Prince of Gastronomes" included Yquem along with Montrachet among "the five great white wines of France."

Yquem delivers an aristocratic, dizzying complexity. It's jam-packed with nuance and an almost overwhelming impact. The breadth and depth of Yquem is insane. There are dried fruits, flowers, spice and an elusive nuttiness that ranges from marzipan to hazelnuts.

What makes 1988 a standout is the elegant thread of acidity that gracefully cuts through the richness and density. It gives the wine an energizing lift and really casts all the elements in dynamic relief.

There's little doubt that '88 will go down as one of the great vintages of one of the finest dessert wines on earth. The life span is as shocking as the wine itself. There's an abundance of stories of Yquems that have seen their 100th birthday.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate:"The 1988 d’Yquem has an incredibly profound nose of orange marmalade, dried apricots, honeycomb, musk and dried pineapple with hints of marzipan and crystallized ginger. The palate is seamless with a great line of crisp acid cutting through the densely packed dried tropical fruit and honeyed flavour layers. The finish just goes on and on."