Ladoucette Baron de L Pouilly Fume (1.5L) 1994
The largest and most famous Pouilly-Fumé vineyards have been in the hands of the Comte Lafond and Ladoucette families since 1787 when the Comte Lafond purchased the estate from the illegitimate daughter of the French king, Louis XV.
The estate is now owned by Baron Patrick de Ladoucette, a descendant of the Comte Lafond, and Pouilly Fumé has earned a reputation as one of the world’s great white wines. After taking over Ladoucette in 1972, the Baron extended his activities to Sancerre, Chablis, Vouvray and Chinon.
Today, the Baron produces outstanding Loire Valley wines under the de Ladoucette, Marc Bredif, La Poussie, Regnard and Baron Patrick labels. Many of the wines, including the Pouilly Fumé de Ladoucette, Baron de L and Comte Lafond, are considered to be the finest examples of their type.
Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.
The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.
The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).
The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.