dinner with collectors in Chateau d’Yquemsamedi, 20 avril 2002

Alexandre de Lur Saluces invited some friends or Yquem collectors for a private dinner in Chateau d’Yquem.

I went there with my wife who does not drink. I wish I had been sitting next to her, to drink what she refused to drink !!! But I was sitting next to women who appreciated what they drank !

Taking the train from Paris to Bordeaux, I had the surprise to see two friends at the arrival in Bordeaux. I would have loved to meet them in the train, and we would have opened an Yquem in the train (this is just a dream).

As I had rented a car, and a friend did not, I played the taxi, and for the price of my drive, my friend offered me to drink with him in the hotel a Clos Fourtet 1962. This is because he had read my report on Clos Fourtet 1947 that I had loved. He wanted to please me with that wine.

Extremely sophisticated and genuine smell : the expression of Saint-Emilion. This smell was very "warm" and friendly. A nice smell. As it came directly from the cellar (we were in the afternoon), the first taste of a rather cold wine was very pleasant. And progressively the wine improved, enlarged its taste, and became a very nice Saint-Emilion. It proves that Clos Fourtet deserves more attention. We offered a glass to an American professor living in Saint-Louis, Paul Paris, who was going to attend the dinner.

When driving to Yquem, I thought of PappaDoc, and his daughter, but I must say that after that, when being in the party, I forgot everything. Because I was captivated.

We tried Yquem 1997 which will be proposed soon through the commercial organisations. An Yquem is always an Yquem, even if young. My wife did not like so much the smell. I liked it. Genuine, even if not brilliant. The taste is the taste of a closed wine. Nothing to compare with the 95 which was an explosion of joy when I tasted it in the same conditions in the castle two years ago. There is an excessive taste of caramel for my taste. The interesting "sport" was to imagine how the wine will develop. And it is pure speculation. But my opinion is so : it will rapidly grow as a 88, even if closed for many years. Less exploding and generous as a 88, but in the same direction. And probably in ten / fifteen years, when it will develop, it could be a very great Yquem, as had been the 28 for example. It should not be too expensive, if Yquem is reasonable, and it could be worth buying it.

Then we went in the lounge and we had a magnum of Krug 1988. Difficult to begin to appreciate it just after an Yquem, but progressively, the quality of this wonderful champagne (wonderful nose) appeared, and made us happy. Some years give an extra taste to such champagnes.

At the table – we were around 20 – we began with "Y" d’Yquem 2000. It is rather pitiful that the meal was very spicy (langoustines with a heavy sauce). So it shortened the wine which was much better when we had finished the meal. So I had some difficulties to judge, even if this wine is good, and even if I like the "Y". I was in the castle when happened the first day of the crop of "Y" 2000, so this wine was like a child to me. Rather complex and interesting, but not really judged by me. I tasted the gravy with the next wine, a red (see just after, and be prepared to a shock !), and it worked marvellously, much better than with the "Y".

The next wine is something you dream to drink once in your life : a double magnum Pétrus 1975. This is great. Alexandre gave me the bottle for my future museum. I will make pictures, and put the pictures on my web site.

This wine deserves respect. Decanted in four carafes the wine was perfectly oxygenated. What struck me is the easiness or simplicity of this wine. It is pure power, but a very understandable power. I said to Alexandre : this wine is monolithic. The nose is perfumed, invading, and satisfying. The taste fills the mouth, with a gentle power. Not too much, but the power is there. And what appears is a pure pleasure of something warm, friendly, solid, generous. And the fact to drink such a wine in the castle of Yquem makes you feel you are in Heaven. The wine matched perfectly the seven hours lamb.

Then, it was the time for Yquem 1948. How would be a 48, which appeared between 47 and 49 in the history of Yquem. We were, all of us, absolutely positive on that spectacular Yquem. A nice colour, red, orange, and absolutely not brown. After that, smell or taste, everything is a perfect Yquem. It is classical. It has not any side effect that some other Yquem have. So, the 47 has a typicity, a character that the 48 has not. But the reassuring balance of that wine makes it perfectly satisfying. A wine to drink with an ultimate pleasure. We had it on a Roquefort, and then on a dessert with green apples.

We finished with a magnum Cognac 1906 which I sipped while visiting some parts of the castle which were shown in the wonderful movie on the four seasons in Yquem.

I talked with people coming from USA, Japan, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland. Some of them have a knowledge on old Yquem that makes of me a very young kid !

To have such a dinner in Yquem’s castle is piece of art.