Without Peer: 1976 Château d'Yquem

Posted by Ian McFadden

The lifespan of d'Yquem is as shocking as the wine itself. There's an abundance of stories of Yquems that have seen their 100th birthday.

Today, I'm very happy to offer one of the most profoundly deep and enveloping vintages of Château d'Yquem of the past fifty years.

The 1976 is just entering its peak and boasts the grandeur of scale and regal elegance that only d'Yquem can deliver.

Simply put, there's nothing like d'Yquem.

Yquem was the sole Sauternes classified as a First Great 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 resonance of Yquem is insane. There are dried fruits, flowers, spice and an elusive nuttiness that ranges from marzipan to hazelnuts.

The easiest way to sum up the 1976 is: epic. The vintage is known for producing big and rich Sauternes. This is certainly a vintage where Yquem's breeding makes itself felt. Lesser Sauternes from 1976 can come off as one-dimensional. In contrast, '76 Yquem is a legend. There are dynamic and focused elements that dazzle amidst the wine's imposing presence. In his tasting note from 2016, Neal Martin captures the wine really well when he writes: "There is wonderful definition here. The palate is underpinned by nigh on perfect acidity."

Anytime that I see d'Yquem with age on it, I jump at the chance to buy it. So far, I've only been able to score enough quantity for an offering from the 80s. I'm very happy to have landed this parcel and I strongly encourage you to jump at the chance. It's difficult to imagine there being another opportunity anytime soon.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

1976 Château d'Yquem

Special Bottle Price: $649.95

Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate: "Tasted blind in Bordeaux, the 1976 Chateau d'Yquem reaffirms its reputation as one of the great wines of the decade, although I would suggest that that 1971 and 1975 are the true pinnacles. However, in no way do I wish to slight this Sauternes. Deep and slightly burnished in color, it offers dried pineapple, barley sugar, almond and a cheeky puff of café latte. There is wonderful definition here. The palate is underpinned by nigh on perfect acidity with orange rind, mango, crème brûlée and minerals. As it fans out towards the finish, there is a tang of Seville orange marmalade, and though it does not quite possess the persistence of the 1975 Yquem, you will be craving for the next sip. At its peak now, enjoy this great Yquem over the next 20-30 years."