Alexandre Bain’s Les Grandes Hates 2014 was tasting just delicious last night. A hugely expressive nose full of white fleshed fruits and flowers followed by a delicious richness on the palate and a lively acidity on the finish. A slightly cloudy appearance and darker colour than one would normally expect didn’t detract one bit from its deliciousness. The slightly oxidative note just adds another layer of complexity and interest.
Alexandre is a bio-dynamic producer based in the Pouilly Fumé appellation but this wine is sold in the Vin de France category. Wines that do not deliver the typicity demanded by the appellation tasting team can find themselves excluded from the system. We’re seeing more and more wines sold in the Vin de France category for various reasons. Many growers choose to work in this category as it gives them more freedom in the vineyard and in the winery as they choose. In this case, Alexandre was unhappy that his wine was refused appellation status, the status to which it belongs ‘Pouilly Fumé AOC’.
It seems strange that growers who are making wines naturally and with little or no intervention or additives in the winery can be effectively punished for not producing a more standardised kind of wine. Those of us in the know will seek these wines out but it does make it difficult for the consumer.
The grapes for this wine are 20 years old grown on Portlandien limestone soil. The wine was aged in 228L and 500L oak barrels. It has just 10mg of sulphur added at bottling.
If you can find it then don’t hesitate to buy a bottle. A truly lovely, different expression of Sauvignon Blanc.