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2005 Pouilly-Fumé, Domaine Nicolas Gaudry

2005 Pouilly-Fumé, Domaine Nicolas Gaudry

White | Drink now | Domaine Nicolas Gaudry | Code:  937128 | 2005 | France > Loire > Central Vineyards > Pouilly-Fume | Sauvignon Blanc | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Domaine Nicolas Gaudry

Domaine Nicolas Gaudry

A graduate of les Lycées Viticoles de Beaune and Mâcon in 2000, Nicolas Gaudry then spent 6 months in South Africa, working in Franschoek and Stellenbosch before starting out on his own.  A 6th generation Gaudry, Nicolas began working with 10 parcels of 4 hectares of vines in 2001 (2 hectares courtesy of his grandfather) centred in and around the vineyard hub of Pouilly-Fumé: the village of Les Loges on the banks of the Loire.  

Meanwhile his father Denis continues to make wine separately at the family domaine of 28 hectares. Nicolas currently shares the use of his father's press and the reception vats, before moving the juice to his own tiny winery. A standard fermentation at 18-22 degrees celsius takes place in stainless-steel, using wild yeasts, before remaining on their lees until a late spring bottling. 2004 was his first vintage to be bottled.

The Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

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.

The Region

Pouilly-Fume

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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