While we make every effort to promote Italian wines amongst out visitors here at Xtrawine, we would be remiss to ignore some of the wonderful wines that are produced all over the world as well. In particular, the wines made in France have proven extremely important over the years and the country still acts as the main competitor for the Italian wine industry, particularly in the emerging wine markets, such as China.
Still, the rivalry is most definitely a friendly one and winemakers around the globe are always happy to see another producer creating spectacular wines, regardless of their country of origin. As such, this week we are going to turn our attention to France and one of the country’s more revered winemakers.
Founded in 1846, Chateau Doisy-Vedrines is a winery that is located in Barsac of the Gironde. The town is notable for being located on the left side of the river Gironne and has given its name to wine for many years. It is also the birthplace of the Venerable Marie-Thérèse de Lamourous, who was a member of the underground church in France during the country’s famous revolution, in addition to being a founding member of the Sister of the Miséricorde of Bordeaux.
History aside, the region is perhaps best known, as it has always been, for the quality of wine that is produced there. In fact, the AOC Barsac is recognized as the second in the Grand Cru, which is a classification that is given to French vineyards that are well0-known for the quality of wines that they produce. It has held this title since 1855, a mere 9 years after the company was founded, and has maintained it during all of the years that have followed thanks to the sheer quality of the company’s product.
The Barsac region played host to three separate chateaus, all of which still exist to this very day: Chateau Doisy Daëne, Château Doisy-Dubroca and Chateau Doisy-Védrines. The Vedrines name is particularly notable as it was given to the region in honour of the knights who carried the same name and were the owners of the domain until 1846, when the winery was founded. Though little is known about these knights in the modern world, it is believed that they were something of an offshoot of the famed Knights Templar, which historians and fans of Dan Brown books will certainly remember. Though they never reached the same level of prestige and infamy as the Knights Templar, the Knights of Vedrines still maintained a fearsome reputation that was respected by those around them.
However, the land fell into other hands in the mid-19th century, coming under the ownership of the Castéja, who purchased the chateaus and kept the Verdines name in the process. It was under this family that the domain first started to focus on creating wines for the public and the family soon set to work taking advantage of the thirty acres of vineyards that were afforded to them by the land to start producing some truly magnificent wines.
Today, the domain is the largest of the three chateaus that were previously mentioned, allowing it to become perhaps the most prominent wine-producing area in the region. It lives up to this reputation by releasing spectacular vintages every single year, all of which are most definitely worth exploration from wine enthusiasts who want to look a little further than Italy and perhaps try a French wine that they have not yet had the opportunity to sample.
If nothing else, the region is able to showcase the important of smaller winemakers in the industry. Though only working with thirty acres, which must be considered small when compared to the amount of land owned by more famous families and producers, such as the Antinori family, the people at Chateau Doisy-Vedrines have dedicated themselves to crafting a truly remarkable wine the likes of which is rarely seen.
Here we will take a look at one of the company’s more recent vintages and examine it in a little more detail, with the aim of helping anybody who is unsure about whether or not to make a purchase make up their minds.
At the time of writing, this spectacular wine is almost 16 years old and it shows all of the hallmarks of an extremely classy wine that only seems to get better with age, making it an excellent choice for those who are looking to add to a collection. Better yet, it is one of those rare examples of a white wine that can be aged considerably, a domain that is usually inhabited by red wines.
Upon first encountering the wine, you will soon sense a number of gorgeous, fruity notes, all of which serve to tease the senses. Tropical fruits, mango, sweet lanolin and star fruit are all present in this rather wonderful composition and the essence of these scents are almost enough to prevent you from actually drinking the wine so that you can enjoy them for a little longer.
Of course, the wine does not disappoint when it is introduced to the palate either. The freshness that you would expect from a quality white wine is most definitely present, making this an excellent choice for people who are looking to unwind after a difficult day with a truly superb wine. The wine itself is nice and sweet, though well-balanced with plenty of acidity to prevent it from becoming a little too rich for those who want a crisp white wine.
The finish is equally wonderful, containing a number of perfumed tones that will gently fade away, lost into the mists of time before you decide to take another sip and experience the whole thing all over again.
As it is a sweeter example of a white wine, the Chateau Doisy-Vedrines Sauternes 2000 is perhaps best consumed alongside some milder cheeses or a nice dessert. Avoid anything too rich, such as chocolate, but anything that contains fruit or sponge cake would make for an excellent accompaniment.