Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Chateau de Tracy, "Mademoiselle de Saint-Baville", Pouilly Fume 2005

There is something quite special about a really good Pouilly Fume. The smoky, gunflint like character, that after all is hinted at in the name, seems all the dominant here. Yet many pouilly fume's that I taste these days seem to lack that essential flavour. I guess that is why I love this wine so much.

Sometimes called the second wine of Chateau de Tracy, the Mademoiselle de Saint-Baville is in fact made by the Comtesse d'Estutt d'Assay, from fruit sourced on the estate in Tracy-Sur-Loire. It is slightly more approachable that the parent wine, which I feel needs a few years on the bottle to show its true flavours. There is no reference on the bottle to the Chateau de Tracy save for the Comtesse's name on the bottom of the label. When you open the bottle what strikes you first is the freshness of the wine. It has a very vibrant nose that seems to leap out of the bottle with the cork. The gunsmoke aroma is quite dominant, but then the fruityness of the wine becomes more apparent. This is no one-dimensional Kiwi fruit bomb of a sauvignon, rather the true experience of a multi-layered wine. Each moment absorbing the aromas brings new flavours to mind. There are typical sauvignon aromas of gooseberry, lime fruit, grapefruit - more ruby I think, and some bizarre aroma that reminds me of my grandads greenhouse with his tomatos and cucumbers growing in it. Intermingled among the fruit salad of flavours there are more mineral characters - flint being the dominant one, taking me back to childhood days of playing in the field at the bottom of our housing estate and making our own arrow heads out of the abundant flint that was around the place.

On the palate these flavours continue, blending well together to produce a clean, fresh wine that just glides down and leaves you wanting more. The smoky element of the flavour lingers slightly on the palate with the finish. There is also a subtle flavour of slightly unripe banana at the end of the finish. The acidity gets your lips smacking and your mouth watering, which makes this a perfect wine for serving either as an aperitif or with some crab, shellfish or light white fish. It won't strain the wallet too much either!!

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