Domaine des Rabichattes Pouilly Fume 18
The eastern Loire River Valley is home to the world's most famous and sought-after Sauvignon Blanc, and the villages of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé are at the region's epicenter.
The wines here are strikingly vibrant with bracing acidity and mineral-driven depth that can rival Chablis. Chalk, flint, and limestone-gravel soils dominate the region, and the contributing minerality provides a perfect foil to the palate of citrus and gooseberry.
The appellation of Pouilly-Fumé sits on the opposite bank of the Loire River, just across from its somewhat more famous neighbor Sancerre. Wine production here dates back to Roman times, and in the middle ages, wines from the Loire were more highly prized than those from Bordeaux and Burgundy!
Compared to Sancerre, the soil in Pouilly-Fumé has a higher percentage of flint, storing the ground's heat more efficiently — producing a rounder ripeness along with the signature flinty minerality.
The Grebet family has a long history of winemaking in the Loire, and sons Vincent and Fabrice have joined their father Gerard, becoming the sixth generation vignerons to work the family Domaine. Their twenty hectares of vineyards are planted primarily to Sauvignon Blanc and feature three distinctly diverse terroirs: Marne Kimmeridgian, Portlandian Limestone, and the highly prized Silex (flint.) For the last ten years, the family has not used any chemical weed killers or pesticides, and they are on track to be certified organic in 2023.
This wine is truly a joy in the glass — it reminds me of just how exceptional Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fumé can be when produced by a talented artisan focused on terroir. As the wine warms in your glass and as you swirl to release the aromatics, the incredible purity of the fruit begins to emerge with notes of citrus, tropical fruits, and white flowers. On the palate, it's all about the balance of fruit and minerality. The middle palate progresses to a mouth-filling blend of lemon, guava, wet stone, and a subtle, welcome hint of orange oil and nectarine. On the finish, the gorgeous, flinty minerality kicks in and continues to a super-lengthy finish along with the ripe fruit.
If you're a fan of fresh, clean, mineral-driven Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire, this one's for you. Sancerre fan? Do yourself a favor and try this stellar Pouilly-Fumé. Wanted to try one of Didier Dagueneau's Silex wines but couldn't cozy up to the price? This is the experience you've been wanting!