Pouille-Fuissé provides affordable taste of white Burgundy
By Dave DeSimone
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, 9:01 p.m.
Pouilly-Fuissé — call it the other white Burgundy.
Like the more famous white wines from Burgundy's Côte-d'Or department to the north, Pouilly-Fuissé (pronounced poo-ee fweeesay) whites derive from chardonnay vines cultivated primarily in the limestone-rich clay soils. But with Pouilly-Fuissé, the vines lie in Burgundy's southernmost district known as the Mâconnais.
Unlike Côte-d'Or whites that have become some of the world's most-expensive wines ounce for ounce, Pouilly-Fuissé whites still carry relatively reasonable prices — typically less than half the price per bottle of Côte-d'Or whites. This creates especially good values in cooperative vintages, such as 2009 and 2010.
The key to enjoyment comes in identifying high-quality producers who toil in relative obscurity in the villages of, , and C that make up the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. The best wines deliver rich, ripe fruit and terrifically refreshing acidity, deftly balanced by oak notes and intriguing earthy nuances.
The style pairs beautifully with grilled salmon or a smoked mozzarella, tomato and basil tart. Try the following tasty wines. (Note: the Louis Jadot wine has good distribution generally at PLCB stores, but the PLCB Luxury store at the Waterworks in Aspinwall has the best availability for the other selections):
2010 Maison Louis Jadot Pouilly-F uissé, France Louis Jadot firm buys grapes extensively from prime hillside locations to make this excellent representation of Pouilly-
2009 Domaine des Brulins Pouilly-Fuissé, France Recommended.
2010 Vincent Girardin Pouilly-Fuissé “Vieilles Vignes,” France Côte-d'Or, but as a long-standing connections with terrific growers in Pouilly-
2010 Domaine Sophie Cinier Pouilly-Fuissé, France Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne, an association of female winemakers in Burgundy, winegrower Sophie Cinier experienced a pivotal moment on her 18th birthday: “In my grandfather's cellar, he had me tasting a Pouilly-Fuissé from my birth year. Not really good!,” Cinier says. “But I remember the cheerful look on Pierre's face, my grandfather, and the magic of this moment.”
So, when another pivotal moment came in 2000 and Cinier inherited her grandfather's vines in her native Pouilly, she did not hesitate. Instead of selling the estate, she returned to assume the reins as winegrower.
All vineyard work takes place by hand on three key sites — Vers Châne, Les Gaulias, and La Dame Charnay — where the vines average 50 years in age. To finish the wine, Cinier uses oak barrels ranging from 3 to 5 years old to age the wine for 12 months. This creates intriguing complexity and depth.
The wine opens with lovely citrus and honey aromas. Elegant citrus and pleasant oak flavors balance with fresh acidity through the elegant, dry finish. Recommended.
Dave DeSimone is the wine writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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