Made in tiny quantities from ridiculously low yields of 100% Petit Manseng, this offers all the purity and precision of Dagueneau’s greatest wines. The pricing reflects the costs of making the wine (via a berry-by-berry selection despite the fact that no botrytis is involved here). To arrive there, Didier previously claimed he simply totalled up the cost of the project each year and divided it by the number of bottles made. Sounds logical enough! The low yields and the warmth of the site means Les Jardins de Babylone can be picked as early as late October; a full month before the grapes for conventional Jurançon moelleux are picked. Even so, the wine usually ends up with approximately 125g/L residual sugar, perfectly balanced by mouth-watering, tangy acidity, rendering a wine with fabulous verve and drive.
The 2016 is equally stunning but far more youthful and therefore, more delicate and discrete than the 2o15. 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.
“The nobly-concentrated Dagueneau Jurancons … are magnificent, with superb detail, magical levity, as well as irresistibility rather than over-the-top sweetness. ‘The idea is to have a balance with high acidity, not a confiture,’ remarks Benjamin Dagueneau. ‘Chateau d’Yquem is very good, but heavy. These wines aim at something a little more Germanic in style.’ I was already grinning before he said this!” David Schildknecht, RobertParker.com
“Madame Hégoburu [Domaine de Souch] told me that she thought her wine could hold its own against all comers in Jurançon, but that she had to make an exception in favour of Didier’s.” Paul Strang, South-West France: The Wines and Winemakers