Grand Cru Selections

Danjou-Banessy

Danjou-Banessy

 
 

“Two brothers who both have the energy, the courage, the vision, and the speed of speech of Olivier Lamy but en bio plus plus. Two of that type can get intense.

Farming: totally insane. It goes beyond biodynamics which they have come to the conclusion is not totally adapted to the south…but the work is heroic and Herculean.

The terroir itself is very mixed. There's a lot schist, including a very decomposed black schist which results in soil the color of tar. There are all kinds of other schist, plus sandstone/limestone (argilo-greso-calcaire.) And there are galets roulés.

The reds are just so, so elegant, pure, precise. All in older barrels and there is a little of an Italian feel there, or a Lafarge one. There's a Rayas influence for sure (they worship Rayas), and it reminds me maybe not of Rayas but at least Fonsalette. The other reds are increasingly brilliant. But that first one is incredible value. The whites are equally great, however, they're a little deeper. It’s the weight of the varieties themselves (Carignan Blanc and Gris, Grenache Gris) and the reductive aging. Burgundy is definitely on their mind. There is a Carignan Gris that could have fooled me for Meursault. I told them so. And they said that it had fooled Marco blind for Meursault.

So this is not to say that the wines do not have a sense of place. Just that I wasn't aware that such freshness was possible in the south. So you just don't go to the south when you taste them, blind or not. It's a revelation. Something we were pining for in the South, and here it is.

At the end of the meal, they almost sheepishly and apologetically brought up vin doux and oxidatifs. That's what the domaine was known for. And they are continuing the tradition. So they brought out a 2004 Rancio, and honestly, it was the most graceful and elegant example I have ever tasted. Absolutely no trace of the fortification. Then they brought out an 1981 oxidative dry white (sous voile.) It was like Manzanilla or Fino. Then they mentioned they had bottles going back to the 1800s…”
- Paul Wasserman