Tasting Notes d'Yquem 1996
Tasted single blind at Farr’s 2005 dinner in Hong Kong. It is a while since I last tasted this vintage. Like before, the nose is tightly coiled and demands coaxing from the glass, but eventually it yields and offers a lovely bouquet of wild honey, honeysuckle, lemon curd and barleysugar. The palate is more tensile then I remember on the entry, with a keen thread of acidity and notes of mandarin, Seville orange, tinned apricot and honey, hints of almond sprinkled over the finish. It does not quite have the complexity of a top flight Yquem, but it is still a great Sauternes for long-term consideration. Tasted November 2011.
Compared with the flamboyant aromatics of the 1997, Yquem's 1996 plays it closer to the vest, although there is a lot going on. Light gold with a tight but promising nose of roasted hazelnuts intermixed with creme brulee, vanilla beans, honey, orange marmalade, and peaches, this medium to full-bodied offering reveals loads of power in its restrained, measured personality. There is admirable acidity, weight, texture, and purity in this impeccably made Yquem. However, patience will be a virtue. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2060.