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Saumur Champigny's "Les Poyeux" is famous, thanks mostly to Clos Rougeard's super-culty Cabernet Franc. Clos Rougeard's winemaking is special. But so is the terroir, as proven by the great red wines we've featured from lesser-known... Read More
Saumur Champigny's "Les Poyeux" is famous, thanks mostly to Clos Rougeard's super-culty Cabernet Franc. Clos Rougeard's winemaking is special. But so is the terroir, as proven by the great red wines we've featured from lesser-known Poyeux producers like Sanzay. There's something to these slopes of sandy soil over the classic Loire Valley tuffeau (crumbly limestone) that makes for a magic balance of depth and elegance.But what we haven't seen is white Poyeux. Or, hadn't seen until our old friend and colleague, Dan Weber, dropped by recently with a bottle of Fabien Duveau's Poyeux Blanc—according to Dan, the only white wine from Les Poyeux. It was delicious. Intensely mineral, elegant Chenin goodness—and a fascinating look at the terroir.It made us wonder: Why does Fabien do this? Why don't others? Dan told us Fabien grows Chenin there because his parents did. Dan thinks it's mostly about tradition. We don't know. But Saumur is a dynamic, happening region and we're thrilled to have Fabien's wines. He's a great example of a new generation that took over the family domaine (in 2008) and looked back to tradition, converting to organic farming and encouraging biodiversity in the vineyard; minimizing sulfur and maximizing natural fermentations. As the Foucaults used to say at Clos Rougeard, Fabien believes if he does a good job in the vineyard he has little work to do in the winery. You can taste it in the Poyeux, and in his red Saumur-Champigny, too. The red is fresh but savory, with the kind of unpretentious, unimposing complexity that gives a wine a feeling of soulfulness.