Grape(s): Sauvignon Blanc
Localization: Pouilly-Fumé, Loire Valley, France
Tasting Notes: This wine is young but already surprisingly open. It has a crisp texture, yellow fruits, perfumed acidity and an accessible texture. Drink from 2021.
The Domain: You may never have heard of "scratch and sniff" terroir before, but the vineyards in Pouilly-Fumé offer an aromatic, unforgettable lesson on Sauvignon Blanc’s flinty soul.
We stood in the center of the "Silice" vineyard during a recent visit when winemaker Francis Blanchet grabbed two rocks from the ground, smashed them together—and then held them up for us to smell. Now the whole terroir concept is interesting, but sniffing rocks is weird. But Blanchet insisted—and right there we got a good whiff of what makes "Cuvée Silice" so firecracker-fresh.
The unmistakable smell of an exploding cap gun, memories of childhood Fourth of July fun. These rocks, and the "Silice" vineyard, are 100% flintstone. The smoky energy in every one of these rocks is absorbed by each, perfect Sauvignon Blanc grape. It's what puts the smoke in "Fumé" and the bracing, enervating minerality in classic Sauvignon Blanc from this excellent estate. For more than a decade we’ve been lucky enough to sample Blanchet's crystalline Sauvignon Blanc and have been knocked off our feet each time. Here is a white wine with both bite and body, sweet white fruit wrapped in a refreshingly light, citrus lining. Exactly what Pouilly-Fumé is supposed to be—balanced, fresh and fruity, and at its heart a stony, flint-inspired soul.