Didier Dagueneau Buisson Renard 2005
This, my friends, is a special post. It is commemorative of a genius wine maker who unfortunately passed away last year in an accident. It is also commemorative of the kind of wine that makes this passion so wonderful. And, if anything, this rarified 750ml of liquid was a testament to how mad geniuses somehow operate on a plane that few of us can understand, and yet all of us can appreciate.
Didier Dagueneau was a maverick and ascetic wine maker, bucking trends, always following his own path, and making pretty much the best wines in the Pouilly Fumé region of the Loire Valley in France. He was able to take grapes from a region that had somewhat lost its way with the great Sauvignon Blanc vinifera, and turn them into wines that go beyond expectations for the expressive capacity of Sauvignon Blanc. These are one of a kind wines that are incomparable to most people’s experiences with this classic variety.
When you first take a sniff, you notice classic aromas of grass and limestone. As more and more air permeates the wine, the aromas expand into rich orchard fruits such as nectarine and peach – not so much what you expect from a Sauvignon Blanc from France that also has incredible mineral density. The palate, though, takes the grape into the unexpected: peach, guava, lemon, tart apple. This is so layered and so nuanced while also being very picant and acidically forward. Even so, the back palate is overtaken by richness and fruit even as you are still contemplating the minerality of the mid-palate.
This is the most complex Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tasted and is, essentially, the essence of balance. There is such exquisite attention to acidity throughout the entire sniffing, sipping and swallowing experience that it is clear Dagueneau’s famous quote “I like acid” is no false claim. Perhaps too complex to pair with food without losing a little something, this is nonetheless a mindblowing experience. Let us hope Didier Dagueneau’s son continues on in the strange and wonderful footsteps of his father.
$70 at Marquis (sold out – everything is allocated)