Chateau dYquem   dYquem

1997 d'Yquem

By Chateau d'Yquem

1997 d'Yquem from Chateau d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux

In the rarefied echelons of sweet wine, the 1997 d'Yquem from Chateau d'Yquem stands as a testament to the unparalleled alchemy between terroir and vintage. I recall the year 1997 was marked by a favourable late harvest in Sauternes, which afforded this vintage an enviable balance of acidity and botrytized concentration.


The Vintage's Vivid Tapestry

Embellishing a storied lineage, 1997 saw the meticulous cultivation of the vineyards at Chateau d'Yquem yield a crop that was, by all accounts, exceptional. The weather patterns preceding the harvest were serendipitous – warm sunshine interspersed with the mists essential for noble rot development, culminating in grapes of optimal ripeness and rich flavour profiles.


Sublime Symmetry

The 1997 d'Yquem exudes a radiant golden hue, promising a symphony of luscious complexity. Notes of candied apricot, honeyed figs, and toasted almond unfurl in an elegant ballet on the palate. This wine envelops one’s senses with its luxurious richness balanced by a refined freshness that speaks to its meticulous crafting. The sustained finish leaves lingering traces of saffron and ginger spice, solidifying its place as an investment-worthy gem for exquisite palates.

Each sip reveals layers that weave together history and craftsmanship—a truly captivating narrative for any fine wine aficionado. As it matures in bottle, its intricacies unfold further, solidifying its desirability amongst those with discerning tastes and an appreciation for wines that offer an artful dialogue between fruit, earth, and time.


A Connoisseur's Compendium

The magnetism of the 1997 vintage from Chateau d’Yquem doesn’t merely reside within its sensory delights; it extends into the realm of wine investment. Discerning collectors recognise this vintage as one that marries provenance with performance. For those captivated by the dance of investment and indulgence, the 1997 d'Yquem offers a splendid partnership.

In summation, investable vintages such as the 1997 d'Yquem are etched into the annals with golden script—suffused with narratives not solely defined by their climatic crescendos but also by their timeless elegance once they transition from barrel to bottle to glass.

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Scores and tasting notes


A sensational Yquem, 1997 may be this estate's finest effort since 1990 (although I would not discount the 1996 turning out to be nearly as good). The 1997's light gold color is accompanied a gorgeous perfume of caramel, honeysuckle, peach, apricot, and smoky wood. Full-bodied and unctuously-textured, with good underlying acidity as well as loads of sweetness and glycerin, it looks to be a great vintage for this renowned Sauternes estate. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2055. 

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #146 April 2003


A vintage of exceptional weather, 1997 was a relatively warm, drought vintage equating to a very slow onset of botrytis this year. The warm temperatures contributed plenty of sweetness, while light rains late in the season finally spurred the spread of noble rot, making for a potentially very good Sauternes vintage in the end. However, strict selection was critical, ultimately allowing d'Yquem to craft an impressive wine well above the vintage’s standard. Medium gold colored, the 1997 d'Yquem rolls effortlessly out of the glass with super spicy gingersnap, coriander seed, cinnamon stick and cloves scents over a core of toffee, preserved kumquats, praline, lemon curd and crème brûlée. Silken textured, rich, opulent and stacked with flavor layers, it has an understated, beautifully knit backbone of freshness and a very long toasted-nut finish. The alcohol came in at 13.9% this year, with a residual sugar of 120 grams per liter, and total acidity is 4.8 grams per liter of H2SO4.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown - The Wine Advocate, 30 August 2019


I must admit to being rather underwhelmed by this feted Yquem. A slightly deeper colour compared to the -96 and like that wine, the nose is reluctant to show its colours at first but after 20-30 minutes becoming very honeyed with touches of clementine, almond and acacia honey. The palate is full-bodied and unctuous in texture, perhaps just lacking a little definition? Dare I say a tad cloying on the finish. I prefer the tension displayed on the 1996 but this does settle down in the glass. Drink 2020-2040+. Tasted November 2006.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2008

Vintage performance