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Vincent Chatelain
Pouilly-Fumé -
Pouilly-Fumé, Les Chailloux
Pouilly-Fumé, Les Charmes
Pouilly-Fumé, Chatelain Prestige
Sancerre (Blanc), Sélection Chatelain
Size of the Vineyards
28 Hectares in Pouilly-Fumé. No vineyards are owned in Sancerre, instead Chatelain buys from the top growers of the appellation.
Location of the Vineyards
The cellars are in the village of Les Berthiers, just to the north of Pouilly-sur-Loire. Chatelain has vineyards throughout the Pouilly-Fumé appellation, thus benefiting from the various different soil types on offer. His main parcels are all on fine hillside sites, near the villages of St Andelain (for Les Chailloux & Les Charmes), St Laurent-l'Abbaye and Pouilly itself.
Varying proportions of limestone and kimmeridgian clay mixed with silica and flint. Les Chailloux comes from vineyards with particularly stony silex soils.
Grape Varieties
100 % Sauvignon Blanc
Average age of the vines
Over 20 years old. For the "Chatelain Prestige" between 45 and 50 years old.
Average production
About 350 000 bottles per year
Vinification and ageing
The grapes are pneumatically pressed on arrival at the winery. Fermentation in stainless steel vats at controlled temperatures of between 16 and 18°C. No malolactic fermentation, unless the acidity is very high. The wines are left on their fine lees, and the Chailloux cuvée benefits from regular batonnage before racking in the Spring.
10 % of the Les Charmes cuvée is fermented in new oak casks, followed by 5 months barrel-ageing before blending with the tank component.
Chatelain Prestige - from the oldest estate vines - does not see any oak, but has an extended ageing regime of 12 months on the lees, followed by another 12 months in bottle before release.
Tasting notes
Vincent Chatelain is a master at extracting the maximum amount of fruit. The aromas of gooseberries, blackcurrents and asparagus are followed on the palate by that flinty, zesty liveliness one associates with a well made Pouilly Fumé. Chatelain's wines literally burst with fruit and charm but also display a certain elegance and breed.
"Les Chailloux" is the most markedly flinty cuvée, with a strong minerality to complement the ripe fruit.
In "Les Charmes" the ripe flavour of quinces marries well with the light touch of oak.
The "Chatelain Prestige" with complexity, rich grapefruit and pineapple flavours, a fat structure and a strong mineral intensity, is a wine for keeping up to 10 years. This must rank with the finest Sauvignons Blancs from anywhere in the world !
87 % of the Domaines' wines are exported to the United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Canada, Japan and Singapore.
The remaining 13 % is sold to French private customers, restaurants...and the cellar of the French President.
Notes on the property
The Pouilly Fumé vineyards stretch northwards from the small market town of Pouilly-sur-Loire on the right bank of the river. A little further north on the left bank the hill crowned by the town of Sancerre is clearly visible.
Although close and sharing the same grape variety, the wines of Sancerre and Pouilly are different. Pouilly-sur-Loire is technically in Burgundy and the wines really do have a more Burgundian texture and style while maintaining the refreshing vitality so characteristic of the Loire. The wines of Pouilly have more weight and longevity than those of Sancerre.
The countryside is also very different. In Sancerre the landscape is more hilly and the soil mostly chalk. The Pouilly vineyards are planted on a gently rolling plateau with varied soils, dominated by chalky clay and gravel in some parts.
The entire appellation only covers some 700 Hectares which leads to cronic shortages in some years. Nevertheless, in spite of a strong demand, the pricing for Pouilly Fumé has remained relatively stable. This has done much to contribute to the succes of a wine now found on every noteworthy wine list world wide.