July 28, 2007

Claude Michot (Pouilly Fumé) - July 23, 2007

Claude Michot is located in St Andelain, the same village as Didier Dagueneau. He is a purist and his 2006 Pouilly-Fume is intensely flagrant, heady with acacia blossoms, wet stone and fresh herbs.

 View of Pouilly Fume and the hill of Sancerre from "les Monts Damnes" above the village of Chavignol, world-known for its famous Goat Cheese "Crottin de Chavignol".
The small cylindrical goat cheese from the area around Chavignol has been produced since the 16th century, but it wasn't until the year 1829 that it was first written about.

 View of the Pouilly-Fume vineyards across the Loire River from the hill of Sancerre. The tiny village under the forest in the middle below the horizon is Saint-Andelain. Below and the right is the lieu-dit "Les Berthiers" where Claude lives and makes his wine.

 View of the Loire River and the hill of Sancerre from the Pouilly-Fume vineyards.

 In le lieu-dit "Les Berthiers", Claude benefit from the emulation of a great competition!

 Pouilly-Fume is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It is now planted in many of the world's wine regions, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white wine. Conversely, the grape is also a component of the famous dessert wines from Sauternes. Sauvignon blanc is also widely cultivated in New Zealand and California.

Depending on climate, the flavor can range from grassy (New Zealand) to sweetly tropical (many California examples). Wine experts often use the phrase "cat's pee in a gooseberry bush" as a favorable description of Sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley. Sauvignon blanc, when slightly chilled, pairs well with fish or cheese, particularly Chevre (Goat cheese). It is also known as one of the few wines that can pair well with Sushi...


 Temperature Control System


In the "Cuverie", Claude has me try two samples from two different vineyards. The cuvee "Les bois" (clay-limestone soil) and the cuvee "Les Chailloux" (all of the above plus a lot of silex). The two plots are distant from 300 feet but the wines are totally opposite. The terroir of silex add some beautiful light mineral notes. Claude plans to release the "silex" cuvee in the near future.

 A handful of silex stones from Claude Vineyards.

 Today, a vigneron is, also, a businessman. Terroir now goes hand in hand with high tech...