2011 Reuilly Blanc, Les Coignons, Denis Jemain
Jancis Robinson - jancisrobinson.com - April 2013
About this WINE
Denis Jamain, Reuilly
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.
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Reuilly covers 210 hectares and 7 villages, including that of Reuilly itself; half the size it was during the 17th century. Though Sancerre and Reuilly share similar soil, Reuilly is away from the river (Loire) and from the mists, giving it extra ripeness and 10 days head start at harvest. 2011 particularly so, in fact 3 weeks ahead of the average, being dry and yielding a small crop.
Denis and Annie machine harvest, having first been through the vineyards to cut out the unwanted fruit. I love the uncluttered lift of gooseberry like fruit aromas, such gorgeous purity (thanks to them farming organically, uncertified as yet), with a light/medium suave white peach stone appeal and fleshy texture. Really engaging and true, yet generous too (like them). Drinking but will keep.
David Berry Green
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