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2014 Reuilly Blanc, Les Pierres Plates, Denis Jamain
Denis Jamain owns 15ha of vineyards in the Loire wine appellation of Reuilly, about 10% of the entire appellation. The vines are planted on gentle slopes of limestone and clay.
The estate applies the principles of la lutte raisonée. Denis works with the three permitted varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
The domaine‘s wines are vinified in a very modern, temperature-controlled winery which is equipped with thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. Each vineyard parcel is vinified separately with full traceability.
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.
Compared with its neighbour Quincy, the richer clay soils of Reuilly seem to deliver a fuller, weightier Sauvignon Blanc, if without the minerally verve of Sancerre. Domaine Jean-Michel Sorbe is a good address here.
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