In 2002 Didier Dagueneau embarked on his journey to produce sweet wine. His previous attempts in Pouilly-Sur-Loire, although impressive, had been rare and in the end somewhat disappointing as there is no appellations status for such wines in his home region. He sought out a area that, in his opinion, was not living up to its potential, and landed in Babylone at the foot of the Pyrenees south of Pau. Here, just outside the village of Aubertin, he found a few hectares located in a natural amphitheater facing a spectacular panorama of mountains. The vines were in good shape and it took only minor changes in the vineyards for Dagueneau and the Petit Manseng to adapt to each other. He set about having his machinist friend adapt a couple of small, lightweight tractors to work in the terraced vineyard, and installed his lifetime friend and associate Guy as the chef de culture, or vineyard manager.
Dagueneau’s approach is to produce wines that bring out the natural minerality of the soil and have, above all else, balance, harmony and longevity. The relative sweetness of each vintage will be secondary to the balance of acidity, texture and richness of fruit and the wines will never be chaptalized.