The Sauternes produced by Château de Fargues is the result of outstanding gifts of nature and the motivation – one might even say the stubbornness – of a family devoted to fine wine, and an attentive, enthusiastic winemaking team.
It takes four years to produce wine at Fargues, and work is constantly being done simultaneously on four vintages at any one time.
This is how the refinement and delicious taste sensations are procured at Château de Fargues.
Its myriad aromas wake up the senses and coat the palate with a host of sensations.
At Château de Fargues, the focus on quality starts out in the vineyard, with the drainage and planting of young vines, and continues up until bottling in the château cellars. The team at Fargues does everything in their power to obtain the best quality juice.
Production is small because of the extraordinarily demanding criteria – that go so far as to reject an entire crop if it is not up to scratch. The château refuses to bottle any wine that is not worthy of its name. That is why there was no Château de Fargues whatsoever in certain years such as 1972, 1974, and 1992. This means coming to grips with the fact that in some years the magic just doesn’t work.
Exceptional conditions cannot be repeated every vintage, and it is all to the château’s credit that they accept to take such a radical and courageous step. The estate accepts on principle the idea of working in the vineyard for an entire year without a single bottle of wine being entitled to the Château de Fargues name…
“Noch” – “More” – is the family motto.
The small winemaking team at Fargues is tightly knit, works together well, and is totally devoted to the goal of making great wine.
Training and passing on traditional skills is essential. Every worker is versatile, able to work in the vineyard or the cellar, planting vines or bottling wine, topping up and racking wine or looking after the Bazas cattle, or even helping in the wheat fields… The aim on all fronts is to produce the best possible quality. Everyone has a great deal of respect for nature, and works closely with their colleagues. This sort of relationship is essential in vineyard management.
The 2011 harvest
To paraphrase Verlaine: "Do your job, old sun, to help make the bread and wine that nourish men with the bounty of the earth, and be sure to give them an honest glass laughing with divine spirit reapers, grape pickers, your time has come". This time has indeed come at Château de Fargues! Making the most of our terroir and our vines, under a typically seasonal sky for Sauternes with alternating sun and mist, the Château team and our usual pickers did a magnificent job harvesting and sorting the bunches transformed by botrytis in order to make the future 2011 vintage. In April of this year, at the beginning of my functions as General Director of Domaines Lur Saluces, Alexandre de Lur Saluces explained to me that "Over fifty separate vineyard operations take place throughout the growing season". The harvest is the end of one cycle and the start of another. It is a crucial time for the estate. Let François Amirault, Estate Manager, describe this culmination.
CHATEAU de FARGUES
In spring 1947, the Marquis de LUR-SALUCES bottled Château de Fargues at the estate for the first time (it was the 1943 vintage).
What a rare pleasure it has been since then to taste such incredible, sumptuous post-war vintages as 1945 (only 350 bottles), 1947, 1949, etc.
Many other vintages have provided intense pleasure to demanding connoisseurs, in particular 1955, 1959, 1962, 1967, and 1971. Bottles from these years are very difficult to find because of the small quantities produced (5-6,000 bottles a year).
It should be pointed out Sauternes can age for an extraordinarily long time. Good bottles have no problem not only keeping, but also improving for half a century ? and a century or more for the very greatest. Sauternes is thus, by definition, a collector's wine that is enhanced by cellaring, acquiring a splendid colour with mahogany nuances as it ages.
It is a little known fact that Sauternes is extremely solid, resisting extremes of temperature and humidity that would seriously endanger other wines. Sauternes travels well and keeps well as long as quality corks are used.
The 1990s were golden years producing many wines with great ageing potential: the rich, elegant 1983s; the wonderfully complex 1986s; the classic 1988s with their exquisite finesse, and the powerful, rich 1989s and 1990s.
These wines make us forget the off years, when a combination of difficult weather conditions and our extremely high standards did not enable us to produce great, age-worthy wines.
No wine at all was made at Château de Fargues in the following vintages: 1992, 1974, 1972, and 1964.