Tasting at this address has never been more exciting and the wines have never been more evidently at the summit of the Loire Sauvignon pecking order. David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate
Contains 1 bottle each of the following and includes shipping:
Domaine Didier Dagueneau Vin de France Silex 2018 – the ultimate Dagueneau wine, Silex is super-mineral, pure and crystalline, and is typically driven, intense and very long-lived. Silex means flint and this wine is produced only from the flint-rich soils on the north-facing slopes of the hill of Saint-Andelain. The vines here mostly range between 35 and 65 years old, and yields are kept lower than most other vineyards. Silex is fermented and aged in the famed Dagueneau cigar-shaped barrels as well as other casks.
The 2018 shows all the characteristics of a classic Silex yet it is already wonderful drinking. It’s the most mineral, the most vibrant, the most intense Pouilly in the line-up, with loads of smoky, powdery drive, but also good depth. There are immediately appealing characters of mixed citrus (cumquat and orange) as well as some amaro/bitters-like notes and all kinds of florals. These are balanced by generosity from the ripe fruit and aging on lees, which give an added kiss of flesh. The length is other-worldly. A fully ripe and already glorious Silex—if anyone wonders why this Domaine is so famous, this wine holds all the answers.
Domaine Didier Dagueneau Vin de France Buisson Renard 2018 – Buisson Renard is a cool, mid-slope terroir on the southwest side of the Saint-Andelain slope. Here the soils are a mixture of clay and flint (or silex, as the French call it). The vineyard area is actually named Buisson Menard, as was the wine originally, but a wine writer mistakenly reviewed the wine as Buisson Renard. ‘Renard’ means fox in French and ‘buisson’ means bush, so the error gave the wine a name that sounded like ‘fox bush’ or ‘bush of the fox’. Didier Dagueneau fell about laughing and immediately renamed the wine.
This was barrel fermented and aged in Dagueneau’s bespoke, cigar-shaped barrels (450 and 600 litres) which are designed to increase lees contact. As always, this is a wonderfully layered and textured wine, perhaps with even more fat than normal, superbly contained thanks to the wine’s acidity and extract. There are superb preserved lemon, nettle and golden delicious notes and a gently powdery close with that unerring tension and drive also found in both the Pur Sang and Silex.
Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau Les Jardins de Babylone Jurancon Moelleux 2016 – The 2016 is equally stunning but far more youthful and therefore, more delicate and discrete than the 2015. It’s a vibrantly racy wine with mixed citrus and fresh-cut apple notes and a juicy, vibrant close. Both vintages are Germanic in style, less so dessert wines but more for drinking throughout the meal (the way you might consume a German Spätlese), or with cheese. The balance is superb.