With flu season fully upon us, I’ve had some difficulty in recent weeks tasting as well as I’d have liked. And while I haven’t fallen victim to the full bug that’s going around, tasting has been a bit more difficult than it should be. I’m healthy again, though, and ready to start up once more.
And I cannot think of a better tasting note to begin with than a wine of legendary stature: The Chateau d’Yquem 1967. My good friend Scot “Zippy” Ziskind, owner of ZipCo Wine Cellar Services, Inc., and one of the greatest wine collectors I know, generously brought along a bottle--a 750ml one, no less!--to lunch recently...and, as expected, the wine showed brilliantly: It was among the top bottles of Yquem I’ve ever been lucky enough to taste. My notes are below:
Chateau d’Yquem 1967
A textbook shade of deep amber in color: Exactly what you expect nearly half-century-old Chateau d’Yquem to look like. Aromatically, it was as complex and ambrosial as hoped for, with a perfect balance of forest floor, mushrooms, candied apricot and dried tropical fruit, all of it framed with a freshness that seems to be unique to Yquem at this stage of its evolution. On the palate, all melted silk in texture, the sweetness of dried pineapple, candied orange, honey and honeysuckle are balanced out by almost Amontillado-like notes. That subtle savory quality--hinting at preserved lemon and kumquat--is as clear and vivid as you’ll ever find in a wine of this age. The finish lasts for more than 60 seconds, and rounds out a wine that still has plenty of time left to evolve. But if you have a bottle, I’d open it: It’s absolutely stunning right now.