On the 29th December we reviewed a 2006 Mathilde de Favray Pouilly Fume from M & S. The wine was past its best and the post talked about the importance of not leaving some wines too long before enjoying them. Well, these few words are concerning the 2010 vintage of the same wine. it is still sold by M & S at about £12.
The appearance was bright and pale green in colour,but almost water-white. This all suggested the acidity was obvious on the nose even though the overall impression was one of a mature wine of its type. It had a fruity, rather than floral, nose which was quite ripe and certainly whistle-clean. Definitely dry, the crisp acidity was fairly intense but a little on the short side in its aftertaste. Overall the impression was one of a well-made wine of good, subtle quality that needed drinking now rather than keeping.
I think that the New Zealanders have rather changed the game for the traditional Loire sauvignon producers. This competition, and the fact there has been a lot of poor quality French PFs and Sancerres over the last 10 years which have sold because of the name on the label, has shifted expectations of the varietal. Nowadays, consumers have had their perceptions altered as to what makes a good sauvignon and demand more intensity of bouquet and flavour than previous – but these don’t always make for good food wines. There are also a lot of average NZ sauvignons about. (Interestingly, consumers are more undecided on the merits of NZ Pinot Noirs versus the French counterparts.) Perhaps the French producers are seeing commercial benefits of blending sauvignon with semillon, as in the classic white Bordeaux wines, to shift the focus away from a direct comparison with the NZs.
I am visiting the Loire this summer and it is going to be interesting to talk to vignerons about the different styles and the impact from the Antipodes.