You may be wondering why you haven’t previously heard about Pouilly-Loché, for which you can hardly be blamed. The entire appellation covers a mere 32 hectares, of which nearly 30% belongs to Clos des Rocs. To our knowledge, no estate-bottled wine from the appellation has appeared in the U.S. in the recent past, despite the fact that the AOC dates back to 1940 and enjoys a strong reputation locally in the Maconnais. As this was our first serious exposure to a full range of cuvees from the appellation, we were eager to understand what, if any, differences in terroir would be evident in the glass. The soils are characterized by iron-rich clay and limestone, often with up to 30cm of dense limestone pebble dispersion at the surface. The resulting wines are leaner than their counterparts in neighboring Pouilly Fuisse and carry a hint of earth, yet they are quite rich in mineral, with enough fruit density to properly support the robust structural elements. Each wine is compelling and exciting to a degree that we have made a significant commitment to the domaine, and will be importing over the coming months each of the seven cuvées produced at the domaine.
No chemical products are used in the vineyard and Olivier is committed to organic processes from start to finish, though he has chosen not to pursue certification.
The estate counts 8.6 hectares of vines across seven parcels, principally in Pouilly-Loché, with plots in Macon-Loché and Pouilly-Fuissé rounding out the holdings. No chemical products are used in the vineyard and Olivier is committed to organic processes from start to finish, though he has chosen not to pursue certification. All grapes are manually harvested before a long pressing, followed by alcoholic fermentation using only indigenous yeasts; the élévage varies by cuvée and is detailed in the specific descriptions of each of the wines.
Copper sulfate only
Annual ploughing to promote soil health
Limestone-clay, with iron-rich topsoils and many limestone pebbles
Average age is over 60 years. Vines are trained in Guyot.
Controlled with winter pruning and debudding, usually 55-65 hl/ha
Exclusively manual, usually in late September
Entirely estate fruit
Wines ferment spontaneously in wood barrels and stainless-steel tanks of various shapes and sizes.
Bâtonnage only to counter reduction
Spontaneous, following alcoholic fermentation
Wines age in wood barrels and stainless-steel tanks of various shapes and sizes for c. 11 months
Wines remain on their fine lees until assemblage prior to bottling
FINING & FILTRATION
Wines are unfined and plate filtered
c. 20 mg/l free, c. 70 mg/l total