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The appellation of Pouilly-Fume sits across the river from the hills of Sancerre, in the eastern end of the Loire Valley. The appellation Pouilly Fume takes its name from both the main village of the area, Pouilly Sur Loire, and the main grape variety, Blanc Fume, the local name for Sauvignon Blanc. It is called Blanc Fume because in these vineyards the plant forms a grey or smoky colored bloom on the grape skin at maturity. There are three main types found in Pouilly Fumé, namely marnes kimmeridgiennes, argilo-calcaire called locally caillotes and sables calcaires. Sauvignon Blanc grown in the these traditional soils can exhibit a distinctive aroma of gunflint. (By comparison, the geography and geology of Sancerre's villages is more diverse, creating a broader range of style. See related products: Jean Reverdy Sancerre Blanc 2016)
The vines at this Domaine Francis Blanchet were first planted in 1987 in the village of Saint-Andelain, the highest altitude area in Pouilly Fume at 880 feet. Since the early 1990s, Blanchet has bottled wine from 100% "silex"or "silice" vineyards, with the highest percentage of silex soil in the entire Pouilly-Fume appellation. Francis and his wife farm around 8 hectares according to the principles of minimal intervention with grass planted between the rows and grape bunches thinned during the growing season to temper the vigor of the vine. Their vineyards are well situated on hillsides that overlook the Loire and have good exposure to the sun, and the unifying signature, year to year, for Blanchet is citrus, mineral and purity.
The 2016 Blanchet's Pouilly-Fume is 100% Sauvignon Blanc vinified - or fermented - in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks after a very gently pressing. The wine rests "sur lie" until bottling in the Spring. In this way, the domaine retains the freshness and crystalline purity of their wine, offering a nice balance of ripeness and acidity with vibrant citrus fruit and a clean, mineral-driven finish. The wine is crisp and energetic on the palate, with flavors of Meyer lemon and limes combined with the wet rock, flinty perfume that makes Sauvignon Blanc here so special. Drink before dinner as an aperitif, or alongside spicy noodles and shellfish carry out, and pretend you have your feet up on a sunny Spring day.