Président AOC Pouilly-Loché
Président AOC Pouilly-Loché
“Village“ appellations of the Macon region in the Saône-et-Loire département of France. These appellations, delimited in 1931 and recognized in 1940, can be followed by the name of a “climat”, the name of a locality designating a particular terroir. Production districts: Vinzelles and Loché, exclusively white wine, from the Chardonnay grape variety.
5 kilometres south-west of Mâcon, the village of Loché is located on a site which has been devoted to the vine since Roman times. Excavations during the construction of the station for the TGV train (which puts the Mâcon area at 1 hour 40 mins from Paris and Geneva) uncovered the foundations of a large Roman villa. Subsequently, the vine flourished under the influence of the monks of Cluny, as we are reminded by the magnificent 12th century octagonal bell tower behind which stand out the rocks of Solutré and Vergisson. There have been wine cellars here since the 17th century attesting to the vitality of this wine area over the centuries. Its small size, which makes it one of the “smallest” Burgundy appellations, in no way diminishes the energy of the winemakers who have always moved with the times.
Vinzelle is located in the south of the Saône-et-Loire, near the TGV train station and the A6 motorway (Mâcon sud exit). With Chaintré, its neighbour bordering Pouilly-Fuissé, it shares the steep, east-facing slope which, with its 12th and 17th century chateaux, proudly dominates the River Saône and the Bresse region as far as the Jura and Mont Blanc. Its place name is a reminder that the vine has been growing here since Gallo-Roman times. The monks of Cluny, then the local lords, have ensured that it has flourished to this day.
Pouilly-Loché occupies part of the east-facing slope which dominates the Saône Valley. At 200 and 250 metres, this altitude is perfect within a continental climate which, bringing sunny dry weather in Autumn, is ideally suited to the Chardonnay grape variety. Due to the numerous faults that shaped the Macon region from the Mesozoic Era, the terroirs of Loché are varied and complex despite the small size of the wine production area. To the north of the village, we find older terrain of sandstone and shale, which heat up quickly in the sun, and, to the south, near the edge of Vinzelles, ferruginous clay-limestone soil quite similar to that of this village. This variety of soil strongly influences the typical characteristics of each climat.
Adjacent to the Solutré archaeological complex, the appellation sits on the same Jurassic (Bathonian and Bajocian) period rock that crowns the hills of the Macon area. The soils, whose differences depend mainly on where they sit between the top and the bottom of the hill, are predominantly clay-limestone of ferruginous colour. The average altitude (200 to 250 metres) and the eastern exposure are ideal for the Chardonnay in this fairly southern, continental climate. These conditions enable early harvests and result in rich, powerful musts, transformed into wine using the best traditional methods, by ambitious, young winemakers.
Pouilly-Loché: 32 hectares, around 1,800 hl from about twenty producers
Climats: Aux Barres, Aux Scellés, Au Bûcher, En Chantone, Les Mûres.
Pouilly-Vinzelles: 52 hectares, around 2800 hl from about thirty producers.
Climats: Château de Vinzelles, Les Buchardières, Les Longeays, Les Pétaux, Les Quarts.
This fine, dry white wine with its elegance and fruit, expresses the quintessence of the Chardonnay grape and is suitable for a great variety of drinking occasions. Young, its green-gold colour and aromas of acacia flower or hawthorn, make it ideal for enjoying on its own. It freshness reveals aromas of peach, lemony citrus, and grapefruit. After 3 to 5 years in bottle depending on the vintage, the wine develops a lovely golden amber hue, and reveals more complex light aromas; pear, apricot, quince, dried fruit, grilled hazelnuts or almonds, and even gingerbread. Depending on which climat it comes from, all very different in this appellation, Pouilly-Loché can be opulent and silky or more lively and mineral. Whatever the style, it always shows lovely balance giving it a long lingering finish.
This fine, dry white wine expresses the power and minerality that characterize Chardonnay grown in this terroir. It exudes a subtle, delicate and racy bouquet of honey and acacia. The wine’s crystal clear, pale gold colour can take on deeper shades with age. It possesses a vast, rich range of aromas - peach, apricot, grapefruit and, with age, flavours of fresh almond, hazelnut, honey, quince and toast. A full wine, it balances its natural minerality with fat and opulence enabling long aging in oak barrels.
Pouilly-Loché: clean and lively, its initial citrusy aromas allow some interesting, or even bold, food matches – e.g. smoked salmon on toasted bread, prawns, nems or sushi. It is a natural partner for oysters, shellfish and seafood. Boiled or grilled salt or freshwater fish, chicken or turkey (oven baked or in a creamy sauce), chicken with crayfish - all classic dishes for a special meal. Pouilly-Loché can also be enjoyed with white meat served with vegetables, guinea fowl with olives and exotic fruit, pork with pineapple or sweet potatos, and chicken tandoori. Naturally it can be appreciated with goat’s cheeses, such as “bouton de culotte” from the Macon area, and can even complement strong cheeses such as Beaufort or Epoisse if the wine has been aged in oak barrels.
Serving temperature: 11 to 13 °C.
Pouilly-Vinzelles: With its fruity-lemony aromatic style, this wine goes wonderfully well with pan-fried salt water fish, or freshwater fish such as trout or pike-perch. This is its natural ground within classic gastronomy. It is also fantastic with regional specialties such as “Burgundy” escargots, pike quenelles, andouillette sausages and choucroute. After 3 to 5 years bottle ageing, it pairs nicely with fillets of chicken or turkey with morel mushrooms, and white meat, because its power and smoothness are particularly suited to the richness of these dishes. It should also be tried with chicken in garlic and duck breast with turnips. When it comes to cheeses, the possible matches are both original and varied; Macon or Burgundy specialities, goat’s cheeses or Epoisses, Comté, Camembert and Roquefort.
Serving temperature: 11 to 13 °C.
The Pouilly-Loché and Pouilly-Vinzelles appellations’ producers have started the procedure to obtain recognition of their best premier cru terroirs.
Like their brethren in Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint-Véran, the producers wish to make up for the lack of premier cru recognition in the Macon wine region to be able to show consumers, at long last, that some of their wines are of the same quality level as the best Côte d’Or whites.