After a scorching summer, the 1990 de Fargues harvest began early (on September 18) and the fruit was picked over 4 tries until October 10 – the earliest harvest on record. It is the most powerful of the trilogy. Delivering 130 grams-per-liter residual sugar at 13.6% alcohol, it has a prodigious bouquet of over-ripe oranges, toffee apple, chlorophyll and even a faint hint of chocolate. The palate is medium-bodied with a luscious ripe mandarin and apricot-tinged entry, building wonderfully to a botrytis-laden finish that fans out like a firework, leaving traces of cumin and dried orange peel on the long finish. The ’90 de Fargues is simply superb in every way, a multi-faceted wonder. Tasted April 2013.
Between 1930 and 1940, in light of his family'y experience in producing sweet white wines, Marquis Bertrand de Lur Saluces, who died in 1968, decided to convert part of the 25 hectares of Château de Fargues' terroir - previously in red wine production - to create a great Sauternes.Picking botrytised grapes in "waves" to ensure only the top quality grapes, at the right stage of maturation enter the wine press, the production is highly labour intensive with tiny yeilds. Fermentation takes place in oak barrels that are replace annually and ageing occurs in the same barrel for approximately 3 years.
It is not an exaggeration to say that these are the greatest sweet wines in the world. They are the result of a serendipitous marriage of grape variety, location, annual weather conditions and human care and determination. The vineyards are located on the banks of the cool spring-fed Ciron river which, in autumn, flows into the warmer tidal Garonne and creates rolling evening mists which clothe the vines until the afternoon sun burns them off the following day. This cycle creates perfect conditions for the development of botrytis cinerea or noble rot, and the resulting grape juice is a super concentrated sweet, ambrosial nectar which makes the most heavenly and complex wines with extraordinary ability to age. In 1855 the wines were classified into first and second growths, with Ch d'Yquem rightly receivingits own super status of premier grand cru. Other stunning wines include Chx Sudiraut, Rieussec, Coutet and Climens. While seductively fragrant and sweet when young, if you can bear to wait, you will be amply rewarded with lusciously rich, exotically complex wine.