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March 26, 2018

Dagueneau Silex 2015, 6×75, £580

Silex

Today we are excited to release our first ever offer of Didier Dagueneau and his world beating wine Silex. Dagueneau has a global cult status, much like Coche Dury and is the undisputed king of Pouilly Fume, the very apex of the region’s potential. Silex is recognisable anywhere, with the elegant yet powerful bottle design, a promise of the remarkable wine inside. The 2015 vintage in Pouilly Fume saw low yields but exceptional quality and as such, Dagueneau Blanc Fume de Pouilly Silex 2015 is one of their finest recent vintages. We are delighted to release today at £580 per case of six bottles.

Didier Dagueneau was known as the ‘wild man of Pouilly’, both in countenance, in deed and ideas. He was born in 1956 in Saint-Andelain, Nièvre, Burgundy. Bucking the trend of Pouilly Fume and Sancerre he had no oenological training, instead he focused on racing street cars. After two falls in quick succession, he focused his attention on winemaking. His winery fortunately had some of the very best terroir in the region, sited in Saint-Andelain, in Pouilly Fume. His crusade was to redeem the reputation of Pouilly Fume, setting out to make the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. He began with draconian slashing of yields, cutting them by half. He tilled the land by horse, rather than tractor, harvesting in multiple passes and by 1993 the vineyard management was biodynamic. He applied the techniques and dedication to winemaking at every stage of the process.

However, he polemically suggested that his Pouilly neighbours bottled wine cocktails, a mixture of wine and sugar. Unusually for the appellation and for Sauvignon Blanc, Silex which means flint, was made for cellaring, with clear oak influence. His obsessive dedication to quality resulted in these wines being slingshot into the finest in the world and him receiving a mythic status, rather like Henri Jayer. In September 2008 he died in an ultralight plane crash in Cognac, this was the last vintage that he had worked on in the vineyards. He is survived by two children from his ex-wife Martine; Benjamin and Charlotte who run the estate today and two children with his partner Suzan Cremer, Aaron and Leon.

Didier Dagueneau’s legacy is in good hands, Benjamin and Charlotte now put their name on the bottles and apply their father’s techniques, maintaining the extremely high standard of the wines and the regard in which they are viewed. They trained with him and are known for similar passion and dedication as their father. Silex now, as it always has, displays incredible focus and tension, power and complexity. The wines have a Smokey and flinty power that gives it wonderful typicity. It delivers beautiful mineral notes of crushed stone and oyster shell. Silex is powerful, rich, ripe and seductive, with redcurrants, lime zest and acacia. The torque and ripeness is perfectly harnessed by the natural acidity and the finish is extremely long. With age, and its capacity of improving in bottle for decades, it takes on flavours of nuts, caramel and toast. It is a remarkable wine, for which we get many requests and as such we are delighted to release it today.

Dagueneau Silex, 17.5/20, Jancis Robinson
Buttery, creamy, very soft and smooth. Ripe, complete and generous and perhaps quite high in alcohol? Even so, there is so much going on here. Compelling.

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