From 40-year-old, south-west and west-facing vines. The terroir here is slightly cooler than the due south Chêne Marchand vineyard. Aged in two-thirds new oak barrels, like the Chêne Marchand, but the oak is even less noticeable here and the wine has a much more mineral profile. Really clear cut and vital, racy lemon zest and nectarine stone fruit character, not as unctuous as the Harmonie but more powerful and longer, racy and incredibly stylish. 1600 bottles were made.
Vincent and Cosette Pinard’s 15 hectare Domaine extends over steep limestone slopes around Bué. The excessively low yields, hand harvesting and modern winery, complete with temperature controlled vats, result in enticing, aromatic and intense wines. The new oak barrels are reserved for the Nuance, and Harmonie cuvées, together with the delicious Charlouise red. The former is from a vineyard called Le Château and is fermented and aged in one- to two-year-old wood, the latter is a supremely balanced and fine Vieilles Vignes blend fermented in new oak. Vincent’s impressive portfolio is not confined to Sauvignon Blanc either – he owns 3.5 hectares of Pinot Noir which he matures in barrel for a year before bottling and labelling it Charlouise.
On the opposite banks of the Loire from Pouilly sits Sancerre. Whilst much of what is grown in Sancerre can be of variable quality, there are enough good growers to ensure it is also home to some of the greatest of France's Sauvignon Blancs. Cotat, Crochet, Pinard all domonstrate this, with the last two also producing some particularly fine and haunting red sancerre from Pinot Noir.