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Didier Dagueneau Les Jardins de Babylone Sec 2014

Didier Dagueneau Les Jardins de Babylone Sec 2017

$160.65 In any mixed 6
$189.00 per single bottle
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Tasting Notes

A stunning, and hyper rare dry wine of France's southwest. Without being disrespectful to the region and its finest growers, this example is on another planet when it comes to quality. It is totally unique. Unlike the moelleux wine below, this is made from all five of Jurançon's permitted white grape varieties: Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng, as well as the strictly local (and seldom grown) Courbu, Lauzet, and Camarelet. The rarest of these Jurançon varieties, Camarelet, dominates the blend. The winemaking mirrors that of the Blanc Fumé de Pouilly in that Dagueneau and Pautrat use both stainless steel and 'cigar' barrels for the maturation, before putting the final blend together. The wine is stunning: complex, enigmatic and totally unconventional (for the region) with Dagueneauesque transparency, precision and coolness, yet also with a tender core of pulpy fruit and a driven, mineral finish. This is of a quality that we simply did not know was possible in Jurançon. - Importer Note

Didier Dagueneau: the iconoclastic winemaker that changed a variety - Sauvignon Blanc - and a region forever. A rogue by nature, Didier was a thrill seeker and risk taker. Be it motorcycle racing, dog sled racing (which he won European and World Championships competing in) or winemaking, Didier set out to challenge the existing conventions. He applied his relentless drive, impeccable standards and attention to detail to succeed in whatever he set his sights on. 

Didier was the fourth generation of winemaker in his family. He was deeply influenced by his father Louis Dagueneau, as well as luminaries such as Denis Dubourdieu, who managed many top estates in Bordeaux, and one of the kings of Burgundy, the great Henri Jayer. We talk about influencers a lot these days - these are the kind of influencers that actually matter. These prominent figures in Didier's life helped shape his style, views and beliefs about the importance of terroir and how best to express it, utilising modern techniques in the winery with a very traditional and timeless approach in the vineyard.

This balance of old and new is what sets Didier apart from so many of the pack. The understanding that the soil is the soul of the vineyard and needs to be respected means extra attention is required in the vineyard at all times. The Domaine employs nearly double the vineyard workers of other wineries in their region. They avoid the usage of tractors in most sites to avoid soil compaction and only minimal application of treatments in the vineyard including copper, which many organic and biodynamic vineyards use far from sparingly! 

They crop at yields that are on average 75% lower than their neighbours and all grapes are hand picked and manually de-stemmed. The fruit is gently pressed in the cellar, cold settled and then racked into unique cigar-shaped barrels for fermentation. The wine is then left on lees for a year in oak and racked to stainless steel to rest for another six months. The wines are not fined or filtered so as to retain their purity, and no enzymes are used to treat the wines either. 

Upon release the wines are tightly coiled, precise and detailed expressions of Sauvignon Blanc that are closer to White Burgundy in style than any New World Sauvignon Blanc that we know of. Like great White Burgundy and unlike most Sauvignon Blanc, these wines are meant to be aged and with cellaring the wines expand in presence, weight, power and poise. These wines are right at the top of the apex of white wines produced globally, and arguably the best expressions of Sauvignon Blanc produced.

Product Type Wine White Other Varietals & Blends
Volume 750ml
Country France
Region South West France
Sub Region Jurancon
Winemaking Practices Natural
Vineyard Practices Organic/Biodynamic