75cl * 12.5% ABV * Loire Valley, France
The quiet and pensive Régis Minet had been tending his father’s vines in the Pouilly-sur-Loire since 1977 and single-handedly turned this tiny, three-hectare farm into a full-time domaine. After 43 years working solo, he was ready to pass the reigns over to step-daughter Lucia Mineur-Billet, a passionate young winemaker.
The Vieilles Vignes (Old Vines) Pouilly-Fume is the historical cuvée of the estate, blended from grapes from the different oldest plots, averaging 30 years old. Six months on fine lees with regular stirring has softened any edgy acidity. Intense and mineral on the nose, there are floral notes of acacia, privet, and chamomile. With aeration, aromas evolve towards ripe white fruit notes which continue on the palate. There's freshness and tension; grapefruit, lemon zest, pear and white peach, and hot stones, with a rich and long finish. The flint soils in these parts seem to imbue a smoky element that differentiates these wines from Sancerre and give the appellation its name (‘Fumé’).
Deliciously ripe and mineral, it demands an accompanying plate of chèvre cheese. Drink 3- to 5-years after its bottling, to appreciate the freshness of its youth.