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The Story

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.


Wine Information

The 1997 vintage

Weather and growth cycle

The vines began to grow earlier than usual, but May was cool and rainy so flowering was spread out from May 5th-June 15th. The weather in August was very stormy, and a period of exceedingly high temperatures set in that lasted until late October. The weather in September and October was excellent, with prevailing easterly and south-easterly winds. Noble rot developed slowly, but steadily, thanks to the hot, dry weather and early morning mists.


The diversity of ripening (due to spread-out flowering) and damage caused by midges (which thrived in the hot August nights) made the harvest very complicated. The first wave of picking called for five days of hard work (September 15th-19th) to harvest the equivalent of 15 barrels of wine. The pickers subsequently went through the vines every ten days until the first frost on the morning of November 4th. It thus took a total of five waves to harvest the grapes, encompassing the complete range of ripeness and noble rot. This long vintage period is reflected in the complexity of the wine

The Wine

Fermented and aged in barrel for three years
Production: Under 15,000 bottles
Alcohol: 13.5° Sugar: 115 g/l Acidity: 4.40 g/l

Tasting notes

Beautiful golden yellow colour
When swirled in the glass, the intense bouquet reveals hints of honey and Muscat. Goes on to develop complex aromas of candied fruit, fruit jellies, and dried fruit with a toasty, spicy touch.
Starts out round and smooth on the palate becoming creamy and full-bodied on the middle palate. Very rich and concentrated. The delicious long aftertaste confirms the great complexity of this vintage. Overtones of honey give way to a multitude of candied and dry fruit flavours. A many-faceted wine.
Concentrated and complex. Perfectly-balanced. The aftertaste lingers forever.
This extremely enjoyable vintage should be aged for a few more years to reveal its full potential.

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.


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Written Notes

This wine has always been among my all-time favourites and makes my knees soft every time I taste it (March 2003, May 2005, April 2006, April 2007 and April 2008). Dark golden. Incredibly deep and well-defined botrytis, strong aroma of heather honey, orange peel and candied apricots. Big concentration, enormous richness and impressive length on the palate, plus fabulous marriage between sweetness and acidity make this wine something really extraordinary. Will be an astonishing enjoyment in the next 15-20 years.

  • 96p

Gorgeous golden. Pure nose of apricots, honey, botrytis, floral and raisins, layered and complex nose. Fresh acidity, creamy texture, fruity, elegant and rich, layered, rounded and complex, ever so slight bitterness, long and creamy finish. 94

  • 94p
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Fargues, Sauternes
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