2011 L'Extravagant de Doisy Daëne, Sauternes, Bordeaux
Neal Martin - 26/04/2012
About this WINE
Chateau Doisy Daene
Château Doisy-Daëne is a Barsac estate that produces top-class, sweet Bordeaux white wines that are characterised by their finesse and richness.
The property takes the second part of its name from an English gentleman who bought it when the original Doisy estate was split up in the 19th century. The 18.2 hectares of vineyards underwent extensive replanting in the 1950s and ‘60s, now planted to 86 percent Sémillon and 14% Sauvignon Blanc, at a density of over 7,000 plants per hectare.
In the year 2000 Denis Dubourdieu took over the estate. A legendary figure in Bordeaux wine circles, Denis was best known for pioneering the region’s dry white wines, improving their quality and reputation. Sadly, after being awarded the La Légion d'Honneur by the French government, he passed away in 2016. His two sons, Jean-Jacques and Fabrice have taken over the running of the family’s estates.
The estate produces three wines: a dry white, a classic sweet wine and a special cuvée, L’Extravagant, which is only made in outstanding vintages. It is the estate’s sweet wines which receives most global acclaim; quintessential Barsac with the emphasis on finesse, poise and elegance, rather than power and force.
Classified as a Sauternes 2ème Cru Classé, Ch. Doisy Daëne’s wines can age gracefully for up to 20 years.
Barsac is one of the communes of the Sauternes appellation (along with Bommes, Fargues, Preignac and Sauternes itself). With marginally flatter land and soils of red sand and light gravels, the commune adjoins the northern boundary of the commune of Sauternes, separated by the Ciron River, whose cold waters are so instrumental in producing the region's necessary autumn fogs.
There are just over 800 hectares under vine, producing nearly two million bottles in an average year. The châteaux can choose to sell their wine under either the Sauternes or the Barsac appellation, but stylistically the wines are arguably a little lighter in style than those of Sauternes.
The leading producers are Châteaux Climens and Coutet, with Châteaux Nairac, Doisy-Daëne and Doisy-Vedrines making good value, attractive wines.
Sauv.Blanc & Sémillon
The blend used for White Graves and Sauternes and rarely encountered outside France. In the great dry whites of Graves, Sauvignon Blanc tends to predominate in the blend, although properties such as Smith Haut Lafite use 100% Sauvignon Blanc while others such as Laville Haut Brion have as much as 60% Sémillon in their final blends. Sauvignon Blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle - if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.
In Sauternes, Sémillon is dominant, with Sauvignon Blanc playing a supporting role - it is generally harvested about 10 days before Sémillon and the botrytis concentrates its sweetness and dampens Sauvignon Blanc`s naturally pungent aroma. It contributes acidity, zip and freshness to Sauternes and is an important component of the blend.
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The 2011 LExtravagant does not have an explosive nose like other vintages, but one that unfurls in the glass with gorgeous ripe kiwi fruit, dried honey and quince. The palate possesses a ravishing entry with vibrant white peach and apricot notes; a silver thread of acidity that cuts through its viscous texture like a knife through (very sweet) butter. The tongue positively tingles with pleasure after this elixir has been ejected. This is nothing short of spectacular even if personally, I think the regular Doisy-Daene is just as worthy. Drink 2014-2040.
Neal Martin - 26/04/2012
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