Pouilly-Fumé, a multi-faceted white wine from the Loire
Pouilly-Fumé may be in Burgundy, but it is a great white wine from the Loire. The vineyards are located on the right bank of the river, opposite the famous Sancerre appellation. Here too, Sauvignon is king. Cultivated on exceptional soils, this grape variety gives all its mineral and floral typicity to the Pouilly-Fumé AOC wine. Produced in Pouilly-sur-Loire and in a few communes in the Nièvre, this world-famous white wine of character offers a wide variety of nuances.
General presentation of Pouilly-Fumé
Pouilly-fumé AOC is produced around Pouilly-sur-Loire and in several communes of the Nièvre. The vineyard of approximately 1,300 hectares is located on the right bank of the Loire, opposite the AOC Sancerre. The appellation area lies between Nevers to the south and Orléans to the north, Bourges to the west and Auxerre to the east, at the crossroads of the Morvan, Burgundy and the Centre.
The appellation therefore belongs to the vast vineyards of the Loire. More precisely, it is part of the vineyard of the Centre Loire, home of the sauvignon and of great white wines such as Sancerre, Quincy or Reuilly. This grape variety gives part of its name to the wine produced in Pouilly. When the grapes reach maturity, they are covered with a greyish bloom, which is why the winegrowers also call the Sauvignon "blanc-fumé de Pouilly". The characteristic aromas of the wine also inspire the name "smoked". They express the flintiness and minerality typical of the region, which is due to the terroir and the composition of the soil.
Let us specify that another AOC is produced here: the pouilly-sur-loire, composed for its part of chasselas. Be careful not to confuse pouilly-fumé with pouilly-fuissé. The latter is also an AOC white wine, but it is produced in the Mâconnais, in Burgundy, and is made exclusively from Chardonnay.
Characteristics of pouilly-fumé
Pouilly-Fumé AOC offers a wide variety of nuances. The work of each winemaker puts its own stamp on the wine, as does the nature of the soil on which the vines were grown. There are generally four types of soil: limestone, marl with small oysters, flint and siliceous clay. Each of these gives a particular profile to the wine.
However, some common features can be distinguished. The colour is generally pale gold with green highlights. The aromatic background is rich and subtle, always mineral, vegetal, fruity and floral. The mineral aromas of flint and gunflint are the main aromatic signature of Pouilly-Fumé. We also find citrus notes of grapefruit, orange and lemon, sometimes enhanced by mint and fern. Finally, fruit such as vine peach, lychee and passion fruit are mixed with flowers such as lily and acacia.
This dry, fruity and generous white wine is generally drunk young, before 18 months. But some vintages have excellent ageing potential. Pouilly-Fumé AOC wines can be aged for 5 to 10 years, or even more than 15 years.
How to taste a pouilly-fumé
Generous, fresh and fruity, Pouilly-Fumé AOC is an excellent aperitif wine, especially if accompanied by smoked salmon. It is also a perfect accompaniment to fish dishes, whether grilled, roasted or in sauce. This dry white wine is a natural accompaniment to shellfish, crustaceans and creamy poultry. A pouilly-fumé also reveals itself on frogs' legs, stuffed tomatoes, fine charcuterie such as andouillette. When it comes to cheese, it goes well with goat cheese, such as crottin de Chavignol, picodon or rocamadour. Finally, for dessert, a pouilly-fumé accompanies lemon sweets.
It is advisable to serve a pouilly-fumé at a temperature of 10-11°.