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Chateau de Fargues Sauternes 1996 750ml

The histories of Sauternes and the Lur-Saluces family are profoundly intertwined. Back in 1785, Louis Am�d�e de Lur-Saluces married Fran�oise-Jos�phine de Sauvage d�Yquem; the Lur-Saluces family had owned Ch�teau de Fargues since 1472, and Fran�oise-Josephine�s dowry was a little place called� Ch�teau d�Yquem, situated just four kilometers west of Ch�teau de Fargues. The family pioneered numerous advancements in winemaking through the 19th century, with Fran�oise-Jos�phine building a winery at Yquem in 1826 (a real rarity for the time), and their peerless position was cemented in the 1855 classification of Yquem as the lone Grand Premier Cru in the region. In the 1920s, Bertrand de Lur-Saluces assumed control of the family business, making further improvements at Ch�teau d�Yquem and re-establishing vineyards around the Ch�teau de Fargues, and his nephew Alexandre de Lur-Saluces expanded Fargues�s holdings from 9.5 hectares to 15 hectares from the late 1960s to the early 2000s. While Ch�teau d�Yquem was sold to LVMH in the late 1990s, Ch�teau de Fargues remains under the control of the Lur-Saluces family, with Alexandre�s friendly and highly capable son Philippe at the helm today. From this hallowed zone which can birth arguably the most profound sweet wines on earth, the Lur-Saluces family produces a Sauternes of stunning clarity. In his words, Philippe seeks �focus and austerity��and indeed Ch�teau de Fargues emphasizes precision and drive over polished unctuousness. The vineyards, which today comprise 18 hectares and average 35 years of age, are planted to 80% S�millon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, and are farmed entirely without the use of synthetic chemicals. Fargues produces neither a second wine nor a dry wine, harnessing all their efforts into a single sublime Sauternes, which they age in just one-third new oak in order to keep wood notes from dominating. The wine spends two full years in barrels, which allows it to settle naturally without fining agents or filtration, and it is assembled in stainless steel for six months before bottling.