Michel Bailly et Fils Pouilly-Fume “Les Loges” 2005
If you can’t pronounce Pouilly-Fume, don’t fret — you need only recognize it when you see it on the shelf (you can always point it out to the sommelier in a restaurant as well, without embarrassment).
And you should be on the lookout for Pouilly-Fume (POO-wee foo-MAY), because many of the ones you see in the USA are a decent bet to be a fine complement to seafood and white meat dishes — even those doused in heavy cream sauces. That’s because the wine is made from the food-friendly Sauvignon Blanc grape, which is grown in limestone-rich, chalky soil that is also rich in marine fossils (i.e., old seashells) and flint. Oh jeez … did I just go geek on you? Why should you care about the dirt? Because it’s what makes Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fume different from Sauv-Blanc from New Zealand or California. Whereas an NZ example may have a tropical twist to its flavor, Pouilly-Fume will have a more mineral taste, along with a distinct flint character — both due to the fossil-rich and minerally soil.
There are a number of different producers of Pouilly-Fume, and all the fancy French names can get confusing. Here are two very general rules of thumb: first, you usually get what you pay for when it comes to Pouilly-Fume, and a quality bottle is likely to be at least $17-22; second, the phrase “Les Loges” on the label is a fairly dependable indication of quality — it is a small village within Pouilly-Fume containing prestigious vineyards. Using these two “rules”, I came upon, purchased, and enjoyed this bottle: Michel Bailly Pouilly-Fume “Les Loges”.
And it was a very typical Pouilly-Fume: herbaceous, smoky, and green fruit aromas and flavors, with distinct stony mineral, racy acidity. Includes the standard “pipi du chat” (cat pee) / gooseberry aroma, and has plenty of forward, ripe green, flinty, smoky fruit. Also some citrus â€“ lime, grapefruit, and maybe a touch of granny smith apple. Medium-bodied, a nearly creamy texture, and acidity that is appropriately tart but not overbearing when drunk alone. This is a first-class Sauvignon Blanc that perfectly expresses the Pouilly-Fume character: herbal, smoky, minerally. A great food wine, match it with poultry, vegetarian dishes, Thai, Indian, and salads. If you like typically herbaceous Sauvignon, you will enjoy it alone as well. At around 18 bucks, you get what you pay for — a fair value.
a-9 t-9 b-9 fc-9 v-7 ~ 93 Points
Importer: Michael Skurnik Wines