Tasted in Fuissé with the family team of Sandrine Thibert-Needham with Christophe and Camille Thibert, 23 June 2021.
Before we tasted, we took a tour of some of the domaines parcels, varying from hardly touched to ravaged by the hail that hit 2 days before my visit – there were some sad sights and in certain cases, they will have difficulties pruning for their crop in 2022!
Christophe on 2021, so far:
“The hail really came in a band of high wind and it was the wind that exacerbated the damage – it just so happens that this band of weather followed the line of the new 1ers! In some places, there is no real drama though still an effect, in other places we wait for the inspection but it’s clearly not just a case of this year’s losses, it’s also about how easy it will be to make the pruning for 2022 – some vines will clearly be complicated.”
The domaine has still not finished selling their 2017s – they are always slightly delayed versus other domaines in terms of release. Their 2019s will start bottling soon, so they prefered to show their bottled 2018s.
Christophe on 2018:
2018 was one of the rare good volume vintages in the last years but seemingly the challenge would be to keep the spine of the wines together with their concentration. I kept a little more CO2 than usual when bottling but it seems to have integrated okay.
A classy lineup with a couple of wines that would be worth a special search on your part!
Exposed west and with lots of active limestone here.
A heavy aroma, very forward, slowly adding some floral components. Mouth-filling, nice energy and plenty of salinity – super impressively strong, mineral finishing. A great finish – it just needs a bit more aromatic elegance.
More precision of aroma, faintly more airy. The palate is full again but more obviously open in style. A vibrantly flavoured wine in the middle and finishing flavours, subtly mineral in the finish too. That’s a very good wine…
2018 Saint-Véran Champ Rond
Vines in Leynes.
A little deeper aromatic again but with more floral emphasis this time. Here’s a wine where I sense the CO2 but don’t really feel the sizzle. This is wide and mouth-wateringly intense in the finish – that’s a really super finish – an excellent wine.
Here’s a pretty complexity – this has a very inviting and fresher character. Extra mineral – wide, really mouth-watering. Ooh I like this, almost juicy in the finish – a smaller finish but not a shorter finish. I really love the distinct characters that are visible here. A great Pouilly-Loché
2018 Pouilly-Fuissé Heritage
The assembly of the old vv cuvée from here and the ‘traditionale’ cuvée which was only 45 hl/ha – to the average vine age remains higher – probably over 65.
Extra aromatic volume again, supported by a mineral base that adds small floral reflexes too. Mouth-filling but not dense – open, mineral, and mouth-watering – another wine that’s almost juicy. That’s an excellent wine.
Vibrant, mineral, floral – that’s my favourite nose so far – a great invitation. Sweeping, more direct. An agrume complexity – but super intensity. Slowly easing into this calm but long, melting finishing. A great wine!
2018 Saint-Véran Bois de Fée
A calm nose, airy and of width – I wait for the florals but they don’t come. Direct and with some weight – a style like the Vinzelles – melting, hyper-impressive, maybe a little more concentrated. Just a small nose away from being great wine today.
2018 Pouilly-Fuissé Les Cras
Hmm – this has a lovely nose and it’s quite different – a vibrant core of mineral-style aroma. Extra width – concentration without heaviness. A wine that slowly widens in the finish, but with a certain discretion. Excellent wine.
2018 Pouilly-Fuissé Vignes Blanches
Vines in the mid-slope with southern exposure. ‘A nicely draining area.’
A little extra roundness, a pretty depth of mineral finesse but more guarded than the last. Really mouth-filling, finely mineral, this probably the most vibrantly finishing – really an extra energy. Extra texture too, a faint tannin on the tongue to remember the wine by. Lovely.
Just 2-percent barrel the rest with elevage in glass jars. Only 510 bottles proclaims the label and this will be the last time it’s labelled as such as it’s a small corner of that vineyard that doesn’t have the right to 1er cru.
Such an elegant floral welcome. Ooh this is also great, mouth-filling, lime and saline accented. Mineral for sure. Open, complex – great finishing. The most complete of this lineup and beats out the Vinzelles as my favourite. Grand Vin.