There are probably around seven casks of the 2009 L’Extravagant de Doisy-Daene, although that may decrease a little after racking. An equal blend of Semillon and Sauvignon, it delivers a record 220gms residual sugar and yet still exudes astounding minerality and precision, with touches of clear honey, frangipane and cold wet stones. The palate is full-bodied with a mellifluous texture, perfect acidity to slice through that rich botrytized fruit, stunning balance, citrus peel, apricot, Clementine, lemon curd and a hint of ginger. With awesome length, leaving that tingling sensation akin to Szechuan pepper, this wine truly lives up to its name.
Doisy Daëne is located in Barsac and has been owned by the Dubordieu family since 1924. It had been run by Monsieur White Bordeaux, the renowned oenologist, Dénis Dubordieu, until his death in 2016. Dubordeiu consulted for a great many other châteaux across the region, and revolutionised white wine winemaking by introducing the importance of cool temperature macerations (steeping the grape skins with their juice before fermentation) to gently extract extra flavour. It is no doubt that this technique has also increased the aromatic profile of Doisy Daëne.
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.