Marc Deschamps, Pouilly Fume Champs de Cri, 2018

$27.99

The Champs de Cri is fermented and aged in neutral oak barrels. Minimal winemaker intervention throughout the whole vinification process results in a terroir driven wine laden with fresh squeezed lime, pink grapefruit, white hibiscus flowers, and focused minerality.

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Marc Deschamps

When you walk into Marc Deschamps' tiny domaine in the Pouilly Fumé you will notice a pile of rocks in the corner. From a distance, it looks like an out-of-place mess. But pick up those rocks and take a closer look. You will notice an amazing assortment of shapes and sizes. Some are pressed into flat slates. Some boast little fossils of oysters and other tiny sea creatures.

You are sorting through the amazing key to Pouilly Fumé's magic. Pouilly Fumé, perhaps more than just about anywhere else on Earth (certain corners of the Jura excepted), is about rocks and minerals. When they make wine there, that's what they want you to taste.

Like in Burgundy, Deschamps has a "village" version of this wine, called "Percheronne". It's the wine from a bunch of different vineyards, all local, with an assortment of the rocks in that pile. It offers the taste of Pouilly Fumé, a contrast to the more fruit-centric wines from across the river in Sancerre. Here you have a wine that is leaner, racier, and more overtly mineral, with echoes of the Mosel in it's peach-pit fruitiness.

Continuing the Burg analogy, Marc also has a Grand Cru, though its price is barely higher. He calls it the "Champs de Cri" and it comes from intense limestone soils with marl and quartz. It is one of our favorite wines from the region. Every time there is a good vintage, and usually in the off vintages too, we put at least a case of this wine aside and watch it develop. It doesn't take long. There is peach again here, but the flavors are overwhelmed by its explosive minerality. It's that pile of rocks and oyster shell fossils, but in your glass.

You'll notice that we haven't even mentioned Pouilly Fumé's grape, Sauvignon Blanc. That's because these are very clearly wines of terroir and not of grape, much more so than in Sancerre. As if to prove this, Deschamps also produces from that magnificent collection of rocks a wine from the grape Chasselas (a "Pouilly-Sur-Loire" because Pouilly Fumé must be from SB). Yes, it tastes different than the others -- it is more floral -- but when you drink it the family resemblance is uncanny. We do not cellar the Chasselas, but suck it back happily on release for its freshness and sheer loveliness (and what a lovely price!).

Details

  • Country

    France

  • Region

    Loire

  • Grape Variety

    Sauvignon Blanc

  • Vintage

    2018

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Sustainable

  • Style

    Crisp , Herbaceous , Minerally

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Light Bodied