Henri Bourgeois, Pouilly-Fume en Travertin 2013
If you’re a devotee to the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc style but feel like being a tad adventurous, why not take a punt next time you’re at the bottle shop and look for something from the Pouilly-Fumé region instead.
The Upper Loire Valley in central France has two pre-eminent wine production regions, Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre. And while both produce really good Sauvignon Blanc, my own palate leans towards the whites from Pouilly-Fumé; like the Henri Bourgeois en Travertin 2013 which I discovered during a recent research trip around France.
The Henri Bourgeois creation has a somewhat subdued nose with perhaps just a hint of green pear and rockmelon, but once on the palate the gooseberry and grapefruit characters are unshackled and ride on a citric undercurrent all the way through to a steely finale. There is enough fruit to engage the senses and abundant acid that sucks in the cheeks a little and provides a crisp clean finish that makes it a perfect food wine for the most delicate of dishes.
Where the Kiwi Savvies tend to be high in residual sugar and hit the mouth like a tropical fruit firecracker on Guy Fawkes Day, the French (at least in the Pouilly-Fumé region) tend to produce medium bodied conservative types of white wine that can be enjoyed on their own but won’t overshadow the meal.