Izak Likwar, 8 other people, and I were welcomed by Alexandre de Lur Saluces for a wonderful tasting at Château de Fargues.
Of course, this brought back wonderful memories of the BWE visit to last May.
Ch. de Fargues has undergone some important transformations of late, and there is now an attractive new visitor reception area.
Participants were given a detailed description of each vintage that was tasted. This information can be found at: http://www.chateau-de-fargues.com/
2005 Ch. de Fargues:
The barrel sample had been taken two days previous.
color: pale to medium gold. Not showing any sign of cloudiness.
nose: wonderful up-front medley of tropical fruit. Hints of angelica, mandarin, menthol, and a touch of bell pepper.
taste: relatively heavy mouth feel with pineapple and pear flavors. Develops very well on the palate. Very long botrytized finish with oak in the background. Impressively well-focused, even at this early stage.
2002 Ch. de Fargues:
A well-known wine critic in suburban Washington D.C. gave this wine the highest score of any 2002 Sauternes.
color: incredibly bright (does it glow in the dark?!) with greenish overtones.
nose: more floral than fruity, slightly tarry, linden blossom
taste: titillates the tip of the tongue. Lively. Smooth, but not fat. Aristocratic. Some crème brûlée, and even a little asparagus lurking there! Backdrop of candied fruit. Slightly diluted. The aftertaste tastes more mineral and bitter than botrytized.
2001 Ch. de Fargues:
color: that trademark brightness is there again, wiith green highlights.
nose: "rotten to the core"!!! Delightful interplay between fruit, botrytis, and oak. The bouquet is crystallizing beautifully. Very precise, classic Sauternes with an ethereal side.
taste: considerable weight and volume. Great balance. The acidity gives good grip and definition to the aftertaste. Flavors of gooseberry, lemon, vanilla. This wine needs plenty of time to deliver all it can. Will be great.
1999 Château de Fargues
color: bright with greenish (light chartreuse) highlights
nose: hint of figs, empyreumatic, becoming quite floral after swirling in the glass (iris and lilac). Honey. Sophisticated oak.
taste: dilute but well-botrytized. Elegant with marked acidity on the aftertaste. Beeswax. A Sauternes for the table rather than as an aperitif because of the bracing acidity.
1997 Château de Fargues:
color: that brightness is there again! Straw yell rather than green highlights. Encroaching amber core (relatively pale).
nose: lovely. Intense whiff of botrytis first thing then Virginia tobacco, waxed mahogany, and muted butterscotch.
taste: spherical. Only a dip in the middle palate keeps this from being bumped up one category. Very botrytized. Pure. Slightly aqueous side. Almost furry on the finish!
1990 Ch. de Fargues:
The first bottle had a problem. The second was as follows:
color: gold through and through
nose: toasty with hints of caramel, figs, rubber, and algae
taste: poised, great balance, masterly development on the palate. Walnut flavors. Lovely bitterweet finish. Fine Botrytis.
1986 Ch. de Fargues:
color: surprisingly youthful color for a 20 year-old wine! Medium intensity.
nose: reduction? slightly off to me.
taste: better on the palate. Muted rancio flavors. Delicious aftertaste gives a much better overall impression. Great botrytis. "Food wine".
1983 Ch. de Fargues:
color: lovely, slightly dark golden hue.
nose: deep, subtle, honey aromas. Marvelously fresh. Lots of acacia. Refined. Botrytised and concentrated. Good marriage with oak.
taste: plenty of weight plus some "chewiness". Enormous class. Pure. Not cloying. Almost searing presence of noble rot in a sweet mantle. Converges into a faultless long, long aftertaste.
1970 Ch. de Fargues:
color: bright onec again, only just starting to show any real age. Still much more golden than amber.
nose: botrytis, caramel, and butterscotch. Funky tertiary aromas. Fresh grapes *and* raisins, almond, and a smoky quality.
tatse: fresh, silky, and pure with a heavy mouthfeel. Sweet and puckery finish.
1947 Ch. de Fargues:
The was chosen as a year comparable to 2005 - very hot and dry:
color: deep amber-gold
nose: how the (expletive deleted) can this be so fresh? Wax, top-grade Cognac, and prune.
taste: even better on the palate. Anise. Still very juicy. Slick beyond belief. Almost oily, but in a positive way. Toasty, coats the whole mouth.
Jeez guys, capturing a moment like this in words ain't easy...
Let's just leave it at: superb.
Many thanks to A. de Lur Saluces for an unforgettable evening.