Château de Fargues 2011 : A very early year yielding a great “classic” that combines superb concentration and great freshness.A kind of mix between 2009 and 2007.
The losses caused by sour rot are largely compensated by the excellence and brilliance of noble rot in the harvested grapes.
The 1st pass in the vineyards began on the 13th of September after 5 days spent relentlessly eliminating sour rotten grapes (50% of all bunches!). The healthy grapes affected by noble rot consoled us, however. They had outstandingly rich aromatics and great freshness. Thanks to sunny, windy weather, a quick second pass was made from the 21st to the 23rd to pick the bulk of the crop.
The grapes showed remarkable concentration and balance due to the combination of botrytised grapes and overripe, but non-botrytised ones. The 3rd pass began on the 26th of September underneath a hot afternoon sun (30°C), and finished on the 3rd of October. Temperatures then dropped dramatically.
The few remaining grapes did not develop well, and a final pass was made on the 10th of October, ending a harvest that lasted just 4 weeks.
Although the crop looked large in August, it was half-destroyed by sour rot. So 2011 will be remembered for both low volume and early harvest (the earliest since 2003).
In order to obtain a perfect equilibrium, it was necessary to control high sugar levels by making sure to add just the right proportion of full-botrytised and less-botrytised grapes, which also contributed to great aromatic complexity.
SCORES AND TASTING COMMENTS
Shows fantastic range, featuring creamed Jonagold apple, papaya, toasted coconut, brioche and pineapple notes, laced with macadamia nut and heather honey details. The long, sweetened butter—filled finish shows citrus oil and bitter almond accents. Displays amazing depth and purity, with the elements glistening beautifully as the finish goes on. Best from 2018 through 2045. 1,250 cases made.
James Molesworth (Wine Spectator) – 31/12/2014
Light to medium gold. Delicate apricot nose, with some classy oak in the background. It’s understated and needs time to unfurl. This has a fine attack, a silky texture, and great intensity of fruit. The style is racy and zingy, with some toasty oak in evidence. Clearly far from ready, it would ne a shame to broach this now. But it’s tightly packed, very concentrated but with exemplary purity, and should have an excellent future. Very long.
Stephen Brook (The World of Fine Wine) – 12/2015
Still quite raw, with loads of apricot, ginger, green plum, date and papaya flavors that are not yet melded together. Shows ample toasted almond and honey notes on the finish, with terrific depth and power. Very long. There’s loads here, but this has a long way to go.
James Molesworth – 05/2012
The 2011 de Fargues has a delicate, perhaps slightly more malic bouquet than I was expecting. At present, it is a little more disjointed than its peers although I am sure it will become more cohesive throughout its maturation. The palate shows its true potential: medium-bodied with great tension on the spice-tinged entry. It is cohesive and mellifluous, although at present it does not have the depth or weight of a top flight de Fargues. However, it is precise and beautifully defined on the finish. Drink 2015-2030+
Neal Martin – 05/2012
(18,5 / 5*)
“2011 has greater purity of flavours than 2009, and it also less opulent. It’s all about freshness and precision; the style of 2011 is closer to 2010 and 2001.” Jeannie Cho Lee Great density and unctuous texture that is classic Fargues. Generous, full-bodied, with layers of flavours ranging from dried apricots to sweet honeysuckle and marmalade. Very long, layered and beautifully made. Drink 2025-2047.
Decanter – 05/2012
Peu de lots en 2011. La pluie de fin août a favorisé le développement du botrytis, mais sur une vendange à maturité cela a provoqué d’importants foyers de pourriture aigre. La moitié de la récolte a été éliminée ! La belle trie s’est faite du 21 au 24 septembre et 10 à 15% de raisins dorés ont été incorporés à l’assemblage. La liqueur s’affirme dans un équilibre délicat, la finale est vive. Déjà d’un grand plaisir. Elevage de 36 mois prévu avec un tiers de bois neuf.
Revue du Vin de France – 05/2012
Mid to deep gold. Not terribly expressive at first and a touch oily on the nose. Ripe, ripe citrus verging on pineapple but freshness of pears and lemon marmalade too. Generous in the middle and a juicy fresh finish. Excellent concentration but an arrow of freshness too. Drink 2018-2030
Julia Harding MW (for jancisrobinson.com) – 05/2012
– first UGC tasting (blind) – 25 wines tasted. Over all very high quality and many wines reminding both 2007 and 2009 vintage, some close to 2010 vintage. I’m not sure however, if 2011 vintage can challenge 2001, as I heard it from some wine-people in Sauternes & Barsac. Leaders of the pack – Clos Haut Peyraguey, Coutet, Fargues, Lafaurie Peyraguey, Rieussec, Suduiraut and La Tour Blanche.
Izak Litwar for Greatbordeauxwines.com – 05/2012
Une fois de plus, Sauternes et Barsac s’en sortent mieux que tout le monde (cinq millésimes de suite, c’est épatant). Nicolas de Rouyn /Terres de Vin Grand classique en préparation, beaucoup de rôti et de densité, finale complexe enveloppante, remarquable.
Bettane Desseauve – 05/2012
Couleur claire. Nez fin, fruité, frais, subtil et botrytis. Très belle entrée en bouche fondante. Le vin se développe très fruité, sur des nuances tactiles raffinées, avec beaucoup de goût et une belle vivacité finale. Très belle longueur savoureuse. Un succès.
J.M. Quarin – 05/2012
“This is probably the best and most consistent vintage for both dry and sweet whites since 2007.” The World of Fine Wine Fresh and vital to smell; richness, elegance, concentration, freshness; intensely sweet in flavour with a vivid defining acidity; long, racy and refined, a beautiful combination of density, definition, finesse and great purity of vividly lemon edged fruit; a Sauternes with a remarkable aromatic power and complexity, and with exceptional minerally length.
Michael Schuster – 03/2012