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Régis Minet Pouilly-Fumé 2006

Régis Minet Pouilly-Fumé 2006

After last week’s sojourn in Bordeaux crammed full of tastings, looking in particular at the 2013 and 2015 vintages (but certainly other vintages as well!), and having posted each day last week on my Bordeaux adventures, including my first impressions of the 2015 Bordeaux vintage as it tastes from vat (with plenty more Bordeaux 2015 reports to come), I thought I should probably get back to the Loire Valley today.

It’s stating the obvious I suppose, but one thing a trip to Bordeaux always hammers home is how red this region is. Of course, exponents of other styles in the region are always telling us not to overlook the other wines made here, especially the dry white wines from Pessac-Léognan, Graves and other regions (there is a small but slowly growing trend for planting white varieties on the right bank). There are also the sweet white wines from Sauternes, Barsac and a number of other less famous appellations that we should not ignore, and there is even rosé and crémant if you are so inclined (I have had some decent rosé in the past, but the fizz has always seemed a little lacklustre to be honest). And yet it is hardly surprising that so many consumers ignore these styles when some in Bordeaux do just that; on previous visits to the region I have seen red wines paired up with scallops, tuna and sweet desserts (not all at the same time I should add). On this occasion I can add smoked salmon, avocadoes, tomato salad and langoustines to the list. Red goes with everything in Bordeaux, it seems.

Régis Minet Pouilly-Fumé 2006

Of course that is a sweeping generalisation, and I should point out I have tasted some really appealing white wines during the past week, wines that were nicely placed alongside well-chosen dishes as well. For example, last Friday I took lunch with Jonathan Maltus one day, and he poured his 2014 Le Nardian to accompany a terrine of foie gras, ham and green bean; it was a dish that could have easily worked with a red (the last time I visited The Pompadour I ate a very similar dish with the 2008 Bourgueil M-Pente from Domaine de la Butte) but the white was perhaps the more intelligent choice. It freshened and cut through the creamy foie gras with ease, even though Le Nardian is a richer, more oak-influenced style than many in Bordeaux turn out.

So I returned to sunny Scotland hankering for something else white, and settled upon this wine, from a domaine which – judging by the quality here – I clearly need to get to know a little better. Régis Minet is the grandson of Robert Minet, a tonnelier who also owned a few hectares of vines on the side. When Robert died in 1976 Régis inherited the vines, and he immediately took up the work on the domaine. This vintage, produced thirty years later, suggests that Régis either has an inherent talent, or has learnt much over these three decades, because it is super. In the glass his 2006 Pouilly-Fumé has a good colour, confident but not overly rich. The nose is exciting, all green apple, chalk and applemint, opening up with time to show a richer citrus tone. On the palate it is fresh, cool, confident and textured. There is a lovely tonic energy to it, some real weight too, but the overall impression is of a fresh and lively wine supported by a pithy backbone. There are notes of dried citrus-peel complexity, and plenty of waxy substance. A really appealing style, going on and on in the finish, long, confident and bright. An impressive wine, still on top form at nine years of age. And of course, it would be a perfect match for scallops, tuna, smoked salmon, avocadoes, maybe even tomato salad and certainly langoustines. For dessert, however, I recommend heading back to Sauternes. 17/20 (26/10/15)

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