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Stony whites from stony sites...
30 August 2019

Sauvignon Blanc is such an ubiquitous grape variety that one can forget that in the right hands it is capable of greatness. The pioneering spirit of Didier Dagueneau in the hamlet of St Andelain in Pouilly-sur-Loire awakened a region to the potential for great terroir driven wines from deeply chalky soils. Since that awakening, just a handful of producers across Sancerre and Pouilly have picked up the gauntlet laid down by Didier; green harvesting, handpicking, sorting fastidiously, vinifying by vineyard, using selected and specifically cultured local yeasts, employing (old) oak barrels for elevage and bottling late. In doing all of the above the top few estates are producing wines that are transparent to site, brimming with life, and surprisingly age-worthy.

At the forefront of this new wave sit the Pinard brothers – Clement and Florent, who for almost two decades have been producing the wines at their father's eponymous domaine. Blessed with an envy-inducing cellar full of the great wines of the world, the brothers are generous gourmands, always keen to get around table with good food and fine bottles. Their own winemaking excellence is undoubtedly guided by their experiences with iconic wines from across Europe and the fact that so many of their wines sit in other great cellars, swapped bottle for bottle - proof of the respect with which their wines are held by their peers.

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