2007 'La Renardiere' Pouilly Fume
Sauvignon Blanc •Pouilly Fumé AOC
France: Loire Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Fox and the Vine
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a delicious Pouilly Fumé for our operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Domaine Bouchie-Chatellier
Wine Subject: 2007 ‘La Renardiere’ Pouilly Fumé
Winemaker: Arnaud Bouchie
The central vineyards of the Loire Valley is Sauvignon Blanc country with arguably among the best examples of the varietal being molded into the world’s best wines. The Pouilly Fumé appellation sits on the eastern side of the Loire River across from Sancerre. The wines of Pouilly Fumé must be 100% Sauvignon Blanc and like its brethren from across the river are heavily influenced by the Terroir with its limestone, flint and marls composition.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Crystal clear light pale straw yellow with subtle green hues that becomes clear water pale along the edges. When swirled, the slightly springy wine clings to the side of the glass before forming legs that descend to the wine below.
Smell – Medium in intensity with bright and fresh aromas of citrus and green tree fruit with mineral notes of wet stone, and hints of subtle herbs and white flowers.
Feel – Smooth, with good weight, this medium bodied wine’s fresh fruit provides a slight touch of sweetness. Dry and crisp otherwise, with lively but balanced acidity.
Taste – Fresh and tart citrus and green fruit, specifically Meyer lemon and lemon creme and green apple is layered over slate and wet stone and steely gun flint minerality and touches of herbal grass.
Finish – Clean, refreshing and crisp, this wine’s vibrant acidity, steely minerality and good weight holds the fruit and other flavors perfectly as it gently fades and begs another sip.
Conclusion – The 2007 Domaine Bouchie-Chatellier ‘La Renardiere’ Pouilly Fumé is a delicious and fresh Pouilly Fumé that shows Sauvignon Blanc in its simply beauty and finesse. A lovely wine to sip on a warm summer afternoon as a prelude to an enjoyable meal. Also pair this wine with grilled whitefish.
SUBJECT: Arnaud Bouchuie-Chatellier, winemaker, graduate of Lycée Viticole of Beaune
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Arnaud. We are thrilled to be showing your wine today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
ARNAUD BOUCHIE-CHATELLIER: Merci Beaucoup.
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
ARNAUD: My great grandfather who was one of the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc vines in Pouilly-sur-Loire. He had a willingness to always improve quality through innovation and modern technology while taking into account what we have learned from past.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
ARNAUD: The wines at Domaine Bouchié Chatellier is made exclusively by family members. The knowledge of viticulture and winemaking has been passed down from generation to generation from the beginning of last century.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
ARNAUD: We emphasize natural wines and enjoy sharing this work of art that nature gives is with those who love wines like we do.
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Pouilly Fumé so special?
ARNAUD: Our soils are silex or flint, we use the selection massale process of propagating sub-varieties of vines that are best suited to our vineyards. Also, the experience of four generations is present in our vineyards and our cellars. This is what gives our wines their uniqueness and character.
WHITE: What is your objective each day?
ARNAUD: We make authentic and natural wines but above all they’re meant to be enjoyed!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Domaine Bouchie-Chatellier in the Loire Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Winner of the Pouilly-Fumé Trophy and Gold Medal at the prestigious International Wine Challenge 2008
About This Wine:
Medium bodied with intense aromatic freshness. Concentrated green fruit and citrus flavors are balanced by refreshing acidity – a long mineral and citrus finish.
“La Renardière” 2007 Pouilly-Fumé is Domaine Bouchie-Chatellier’s signature wine and takes its name from the foxes that used to live in the woods bordering the vineyard (renard means “fox” in French). Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, the wine displays the characteristic aromas that one expects in a quality Pouilly-Fumé — gunflint, minerality, yellow fruit, citrus and grassy notes — combined with tart acidity and good length on the palate.
It is the winner of the top prize for Pouilly-Fume (the Pouilly-Fumé Trophy) and a Gold Medal at the prestigious International Wine Challenge 2008 London, and a Bronze Medal at the IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition) 2008, London. Judges describe the wine as having a “smokey, minerally nose. Quite juicy, lively fruit, very pleasant green apple grassy flavours. Vibrant lively style.”
“La Renardière” 2007 is produced from vines with an average age of 30 years. Each plot is harvested by hand and vinified separately according to the maturity of the grapes. The grapes are pneumatically pressed in order to keep unwanted tannins and bitterness from the seeds and skins from permeating the juice. Fermentation is thermo-regulated for up to 3 weeks on the fine lees (the sediment that occurs during fermentation and aging from disintegrating yeast cells) for added depth and complexity before bottling.
Delicious on its own or with food, traditional pairings include seafood, grilled fish and goat cheese. The wine also pairs well with creamy pasta dishes (particularly those with smoked salmon or seafood), vegetable or seafood risotto, veal and heartier salads, such as Cobb salad. The wine is ready to drink now, but will also continue to gain complexity and yellow fruit aromas with age (3 to 5 years).
About The Winery:
Domaine Bouchie-Chatellier is located in the appellation of Pouilly-Fumé, which sits on the opposite side of the Loire River from Sancerre. Only an hour and half by car from Paris, both Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre are famous for crisp, dry white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, with Pouilly-Fumé having a reputation for producing slightly richer, more full-bodied wines than its neighbor. And despite the current rage for Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand, the flinty, fruity and herbaceous wines from Pouilly-Fumé continue to set themselves apart.
I first had the opportunity to taste Domaine Bouchie-Chatellier at a wine fair hosted by La Revue du Vin de France each May in Paris’ historic Palais Brongniart (the old stock exchange building). The Domaine was represented by Arnaud Bouchie-Chatellier, a third-generation vinegrower and current director of his family’s domaine. The potent citrus and stone fruit flavors, gunflint notes, minerality and crisp acidity of the Domaine’s wines were striking. I had scheduled a tasting trip to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé in the coming month, and I immediately added Domaine Bouchie-Chatellier to my list of wineries to visit.
The Domaine is located in the village of Saint-Andelain on a hill rising 900 feet overlooking the Loire River. Saint-Andelain is one of the seven villages that comprise Pouilly-Fumé AOC (not to be confused with the similarly-named Pouily-Fuissé AOC, which is located in Burgundy and produces whites made from the Chardonnay grape.) The Domaine has some of the best-situated vineyards in Pouilly-Fumé. Covering just over 29 acres with southern and western exposures, the vineyards share the same hillside as Didier Dagueneau’s famed estate (which many regard as producing some of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the world).
More than other white grape varietals, Sauvignon Blanc is influenced by the climate and soil where it is grown. Although it is situated relatively north, Pouilly-Fumé’s cool climate is moderated by the Loire River. The combined effect gives the wines balance and structure. The Domaine’s vineyards have the perfect amount of flint and clay, both of which are thought to help ripening (the flint absorbs heat and radiates it into the clay). The flint is also believed to influence the flavors and aromas of the wine, including, most notably, the classic gunflint aromas for which Pouilly-Fumé is famous. Fumé, in fact, translates as “smoked” and producers in this region frequently call the Sauvignon Blanc grape Blanc Fumé.
The Domaine uses traditional vine management and cultivating methods. Yields are kept low, and the use of pesticides is minimal. On average, the vine stocks are 30 years old and some are as old as 65 years. The grapes are harvested by hand, and vinification takes place in stainless steel vats with very light filtrations. The choice of stainless steel allows for the purest expression of the grape, while minimal filtrations leave more solid matter in the wine as it matures, which making the wine more complex. The end results are mouthwatering wines that combine crisp acidity with expressive fruit and smoky notes. They are great on their own or with food. Traditional pairings include goat cheese, seafood and fish. These wines are also delicious with creamy pasta dishes and risotto, veal and sushi.
We are currently selling two award-winning wines from Domaine Bouchie-Chatellier: “La Renardière” 2007 Pouilly-Fumé and “Premiere Millésimé” 2006 Pouilly-Fumé.
“La Renardière” 2007 won the Poully-Fumé Trophy at the prestigious International Wine Challenge 2008, London (chosen from among the gold-medal winning wines in the same competition), and a Bronze Medal at the IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition) 2008 London. “Premiere Millésimé” 2006 received a Silver Medal at the Challenge International du Vin 2008 (France’s largest international wine competition) and took second place in the France 2008 competition at Prowein 2008
Wine Type: White Wine
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Pouilly Fumé