WTN: Vertical tasting at Château de Fargues

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WTN: Vertical tasting at Château de Fargues

Postby AlexR » Sun Apr 09, 2006 5:51 am

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.

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Re: Vertical tasting at Château de Fargues

Postby Otto » Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:20 am

Excellent report, thanks! I've never had a Fargues but you whetted my appetite. Oh, and I love the phrase "rotten to the core"! Do you mind terribly if I plagiarize this phrase occasionally? Remember in chat you told me to go drink more Sauternes - well, I have! And you were right, I am beginning to like it :) I ordered a few older "humble" wines which turned out really nice.

I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Vertical tasting at Château de Fargues

Postby David Lole » Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:28 am

Sensational tasting Alex, thank you ever so much.

Unfortunately, for their owners and ultimately, I suppose, de Fargues, there are many, many bottles of 1990 out there that are "not right". With a high failure rate, I sent all my 375 and 750 ml bottles back to my supplier for a full refund (includung all the duds!). My opened returns were all corked. My sample bottle (that I bought off) was like your second bottle - full-on, rich and rivetting - Excellent/Outstanding. That was some time ago, it must be said.

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Re: Vertical tasting at Château de Fargues

Postby Roy Hersh » Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:02 pm

It takes a real lot for me to get jealous from any tastings. This one did the trick and I am most envious of your great fortune to drink at De Fargues!
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Re: Vertical tasting at Château de Fargues

Postby François Audouze » Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:40 pm

I have met Alexandre de Lur Saluces and I told him as a joke how jealous I was to have not been there when he has opened a 1947.

But when I said to him that I have drunk once a 1945, it was he who became jealous, and he asked me how it was possible that I have had this wine.

Of course we laughed.

So, I imagine the pleasure that you have had with this treasure 1947, as the 1945 which is in the same league, was purely fantastic.
Old wines are younger than what is generally considered
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