Dear wine lovers,
It took me several years to clear the confusion between the wines of Pouilly Fuissé* from the southern part of the Burgundy wine area and Pouilly Fumé, the eastern part of the Loire Valley. Not only do the names sound closely alike but, when young, both are very similar in taste.
Planted on the slopes around the pretty villages of Solutré, Vergisson and Fuissé, the Chardonnay vines dominated by the famous Solutré rock express very differently from their cousins of the Côtes de Beaune and Chablis areas. But what brings about the difference ? Terroir of course ! (Even if a supposedly knowledgeable advocate does not agree). Here, the climate is less continental, the soil is harder and the Saône River also interacts.
The result is a very expressive wine, full-bodied and quite aromatic. Exotic fruits will enchant your palate when the wine is young and not too oaky, even if a balanced use of barrels with old vines can eventually bring vanilla, grilled almonds and nutty aromas. 2002, like all the northern part of France, is an excellent vintage. If you prefer younger wines, 2004 is good and 2005 will be excellent.
Among a lot of small and very good family vineyards, Château de Fuissé, Domaine Feuillarde and Domaine Valette have my vote. Drink these wines with a river fish like trout or pike perch accompanied with a thick lemon** white sauce. And if, like me, you get confused and pour a Pouilly fumé with this dish, don't worry, it will also complement very well.
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*Listen to "Pouilly Fuissé"
**Lemon = Citron
See Pouilly Fuissé on a French wine map (use enlarge icon to see it better)