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Domaine Marcel Couturier Pouilly-Loche 2014

Chardonnay from Pouilly-Loche, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    A weighty, and incredibly complex Chardonnay. Apples, quince, mushrooms, spice box: the list of aromatic descriptors could go on forever. The structure and density on the palate make this a wine whose evolution you'll want to watch over the next few years.

    Serve with soft cheeses, poached eggs, chantrelles, or quail.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine Marcel Couturier

    Domaine Marcel Couturier

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    Domaine Marcel Couturier, Pouilly-Loche, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    Marcel Couturier comes from a long line of vignerons in the southern Maconnais. Until recently, he had been selling his grapes off to the local coop, all the while preparing to start making his own wine. In 2005, he started bottling some wine under his own label, and slowly but surely he is selling off less and less of grapes and making more of his wine. In 2014 he completed the building of a new winery, which will allow for a large increase in production. In the vineyards, no chemicals are used unless circumstances are exceptionally dire. Marcel is also a big believer in plowing and working his soil, doing it almost obsessively to aerate the soil and manage growth. In the winery, the approach is pretty hands-off. Almost everything is fermented and aged in barrel, with an average of 20% new wood, depending on the year. Fermentation happens slowly, with alcoholic fermentation often not finishing until January and malolactic fermentation sometimes going on through the summer. The wines are bottled right before harvest of the following year.

    Pouilly-Loche

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    A center of viticulture since Roman times, Pouilly-Loché sits east of Pouilly-Fuissé in front of a beautiful backdrop of the hills of Solutré and Vergisson. Attesting to the continuous vitality of viticulture in Pouilly-Loché, many of its cellars date back to the 17th century.

    Within Pouilly-Loché, which is also part of Pouilly-Vinzelles, the wines of each of its many lieux-dits (small vineyard areas) claim distinct personalities because of extreme soil variations within this small area. In its northern end, soils are older schists and sandstones, which retain heat. In the south, towards Vinzelles, Pouilly-Loché claims cooler, iron-rich, clay-limestone soils resembling those of the rest of Vinzelles to the south.

    Within the variations, a great Pouilly-Loché (always made of Chardonnay) often has characteristics reminiscent of honey, acacia, apricot and grapefruit; with age these will veer towards pear, quince, dried fruit, hazelnut and ginger. These pair perfectly with roasted or tandoori chicken, guinea fowl and olives or fresh water fish dishes.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

    TEWFR9953_2014 Item# 240533