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2013 Pouilly-Fumé, La Rambarde, Domaine Landrat-Guyollot
Since 1686 the Landrat-Guyollot family have been viticulturalists in the region of Nivers. Trade increased to Paris once the river Loire became navigable, from the 16th century onwards, with families such as the Landrat-Guyollot using dinghies (‘Les Rambardes’) to ferry wine to the capital.
Sophie Landrat-Guyollot now represents its 10th generation; the last three generations to run the estate being female. A graduate of the Lycee Agricole in Beaune, Sophie began working at the estate in 1992. Since the 1970s the family have been bottling 100% of its production.
Located in the village of Les Berthiers, close to St.Andelain, the family now owns 16.5ha across the villages of Tracy, St. Andelain and Pouilly-sur-Loire. Pouilly-Fume ‘La Rambarde’ is a classic blend of kimmeridgean marl, limestone and flint soils.
From the 2009 vintage they also make two cuvees representing the two key soil types found in the region: Pouilly-Fume ‘Gemme Oceane’ is made from fruit grown on the kimmeridgean marls (from vineyards Les Cornets and Meilliers) while Pouilly-Fume ‘Gemme de Feu’ captures the tropical notes expressed by the red flints of St.Andelain. No oak is used at the domaine.
David Berry Green, BBR Buyer
An important white grape in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley that has now found fame in New Zealand and now Chile. It thrives on the gravelly soils of Bordeaux and is blended with Sémillon to produce fresh, dry, crisp Bordeaux Blancs, as well as more prestigious Cru Classé White Graves.
It is also blended with Sémillon, though in lower proportions, to produce the great sweet wines of Sauternes. It performs well in the Loire Valley and particularly on the well-drained chalky soils found in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where it produces bone dry, highly aromatic, racy wines, with grassy and sometimes smoky, gunflint-like nuances.
In New Zealand, Cloudy Bay in the 1980s began producing stunning Sauvignon Blanc wines with extraordinarily intense nettly, gooseberry, and asparagus fruit, that set Marlborough firmly on the world wine map. Today many producers are rivalling Cloudy Bay in terms of quality and Sauvignon Blanc is now New Zealand`s trademark grape.
It is now grown very successfully in Chile producing wines that are almost halfway between the Loire and New Zealand in terms of fruit character. After several false starts, many South African producers are now producing very good quality, rounded fruit-driven Sauvignon Blancs.
Pouilly-Fumé is a famous white Sauvignon Blanc appellation located on the right bank of the Loire River.
Compared to Sancerre on the opposite bank, the Pouilly-Fumé appellation is approximately half the size at 1,200 hectares, and tightly-focused around the villages of St Andelain and Les Loges on a fairly homogeneous, south-west facing slope. The appellation's soils are divided between limestone-rich Kimmeridgean and Portlandian (less active calcium) clay, with the cherry on the cake being the red, flinty clay soils clustered around the St Andelain knoll.
Top vineyards in Pouilly-Fumé include Les Cocques, Les Bois and Les Cornets. The result is a floral, finely-poised yet powerful nose, with a noticeably limestone-like dry palate kept taut by a fine structure. Indeed such is the stony intensity of a good Pouilly-Fumé that an increasing number of producers are ageing their best crus in French oak, to good effect.
Recommmended producers: Didier Dagueneau, Alain Cailbourdin, André Dezat and the up-and-coming Nicolas Gaudry
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