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Jean Pabiot Fines Caillottes Pouilly Fume 2015
Domaine Jean Pabiot’s Pouilly Fumé Les Fines Caillottes comes from 30 distinct parcels spread over 5 communes of the appellation. The sites have varying terroirs, all of which combine to give the wine remarkable complexity and nuance. The main types are limestone covered with small white pebbles (caillottes); marl with fossilized oysters; and flint. The sub soil is clay-limestone. The vines average 20 years of age, and the oldest vines, totaling 3 hectares, are over 40 years old on very stony soils. The vineyards are cultivated sustainably and no synthetic fertilizers are used. Many parcels have grass planted between the rows, and the Pabiots regularly green-harvest and remove leaves to aerate the vines. They use organic fertilizer in the form of vine cuttings to restore the soil’s balance. The cuttings are plowed into the soil which fosters a healthy natural ambiance in the vineyards. The grapes are moved quickly to the winery to minimize contact with oxygen. They are de-stemmed and allowed to partially (15% in 2012) soak with the skins at low temperature before pressing. Fermentation begins spontaneously, with the natural yeasts present on the grapes and each site of origin is vinified separately. The gross lees are removed 3 weeks after the fermentation stops. The wine then develops for 4 – 5 months in tank on its fine lees, with occasional pumping over of the lees for enrichment and added complexity. The diverse origins are assembled in March. The new vintage of Pouilly Fumé is bottled in April and released for sale one month later.
A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.
In the Glass
From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.
The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.
Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.