2015 Jean-Claude Chatelain 'Les Chailloux' Pouilly-Fume, Loire Valley, France (750ml)

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We love a good Pouilly-Fume, even though Sauvignon Blanc from this village is greatly overshadowed by that of its more famous neighbor, Sancerre. That's why when we find a great example, we feel like shouting about it from the roof tops. This beauty from Jean-Claude Chatelain is our latest favorite. The nose is lively and vibrant with highly aromatic scents of gooseberry, lime zest, just chopped fresh herbs and the classic Pouilly-Fume gun flint. Flavors on the medium bodied palate continue in the same vein in a delicious and satisfying way while the wine ends on a perfect pitch of chalky minerality and excellent structure. There is a lot going on here that deserves attention. It might even change one's opinion about what heights Sauvignon Blanc can achieve in Pouilly-Fume, and it may also be mistaken for a great Sancerre! The Chatelain family has been cultivating vines in the Loire Valley appellation of Pouilly Fumé since 1630. Three hundred years later, it was André Chatelain who formerly established Domaine Chatelain in the 1930s when he started exporting his wines on the international market. Representing the 11th generation of the family, Jean-Claude Chatelain took over running things in 1966 and now his offspring are the 12th generation of Chatelains behind the 30 hectare estate. Their plots of Sauvignon Blanc are spread across the villages of Tracy-sur-Loire, Pouilly-sur-Loire, Mesves-sur-Loire, Saint Andelain, Saint-Laurent l’Abbeye and Saint-Martin-sur-Nohain which make up the main growing areas of Pouilly Fumé. All the fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks and none of the wines go through malolactic fermentation unless the acidity is piercingly high. However, the wines are left on their fine lees and this ‘Chailloux cuvée benefits from regular batonnage before racking in the spring.

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