Friday, January 13, 2006

Pouilly-Fume Tasting

Stephanie had purchased a bag of split peas recently, and I decided to make them into soup last night with some smoked ham hocks and sausage. On Charlie's recommendation, I sought out wines known for their smokiness - the sauvignon blancs of Pouilly-Fumé in France's Loire Valley. As with the previous night's Cotes-du-Rhone, these wines were made in contrasting styles and, thus, provided an interesting tasting experience.

The Pascal Jolivet Pouilly-Fumé 2001 was consumed from a half bottle. It showed the characteristic P-F smokiness and flintiness on the aroma. Stephanie detected a hint of oak. Perhaps due to its age and format, the wine was relatively restrained and subtle. There were baked apple flavors and some nice acidity, but nothing flashy or racy. For me, the subtlety made for an enjoyable pairing with the smoky and somewhat muted soup.

Rather different was the Domaine Serge Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Les Pentes 2004. A bright and racy wine, the Dagueneau seemed closer to a New Zealand sauvi blanc than to the Jolivet. Of course, the wine is barely a year old so the ripe fruits and zippy acidity were to be expected. Serge and his daughters who now run the estate are cousins of the more famous Didier Dagueneau, whose P-Fs regularly appear in the Wine Spectator Top 100 and cost as much as $90. Serge's wine was more modest but still quite enjoyable. Although the Jolivet seemed a perfect compliment to the soup but perhaps little else, the Dagueneau worked nicely with the soup but would pair well with a wider variety of dishes, especially white and shell fish.

1 comment:

stephanie said...

With regard to the first wine, I would say I detected more than a "hint" of oak. As the wine warmed, I found it quite oakey (sp?). I happen to not love oakey wines, so I did not think it was that great. It was okay. I much preferred the younger wine, and I thought it was a great match for the soup. The 2001 -- likely because of the oak -- seemed much sweeter to me and, really, too sweet for the soup. But, that's just my take on it.