- BlendSauvignon Blanc
- WinemakerBenoit Chauveau
- RegionLoire Valley
- Aging/CooperageAged on the lees for 4 to 8 months.
Domaine Chauveau Pouilly-Fumé CroqSilex 2022
This stunning sauvignon blanc is one of our greatest finds in France...hands down! As the price and availability of Sancerre continue to rise to the level of top-flight White Burgundy – this, in our humble opinion, is the next great sauvignon blanc to rise up as a budding superstar. The Chauveau family’s Croq Silex (“crunchy flint”) is a lot of wine for a truly exceptional price! At $19.95...this will outshine many terroir-driven whites at 4-5 times the price.
The Chauveau clan has been crafting sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley for generations – with long-held, truly envy-inducing parcels in Pouilly-Fumé, Coteaux du Giennois, Pouilly sur Loire, and Sancerre! With the prices of sauvignon blanc from neighboring Sancerre skyrocketing, in many cases doubling in the last decade, it’s regions like Pouilly-Fumé that are seeing huge investments and increased interest from the international wine scene. When we last tasted with Benoit a few months back in Paris, we were blown away by the quality of this portfolio. It is not hyperbolic to say – these are some of the VERY BEST iterations of sauvignon blanc ANYWHERE in the world!
The abundant freshness, remarkable purity, and sheer quality of these wines are simply off the charts – no question. I’d put these blind up against any portfolio of sauvignon blancs in the world...they are simply that good! So grab all you can, but please, do it quietly. This is a gem of a producer that we selfishly hope stays under the radar as long as possible. With 15 hectares of vineyards in Pouilly-Fumé, Benoit Chauveau makes three separate wines from this AOC – with each expression drawing its inspiration and identity from the soil where the grapes are grown. Kimmeridgian marl, limestone, and here, where clay sediment is layered with vast amounts of flint. Each offering is unique, but this Croq Silex is a personal favorite. Zippy, steely, and overloaded with freshness...supported by flinty, chalky notes, and a lovely, exotic citrus note behind the racy, grapefruity, tangy lime, and gooseberry notes. Fantastic acidity, tingling minerality, with a bit of weight and depth...just wicked stuff.
The name Pouilly-Fumé (“Fume” meaning “smoked”) refers to both the grape variety and the terroir. Locally, the sauvignon blanc grapes get this grey, smoky bloom when they are approaching perfect ripeness. This is why they are also known as “Blanc Fume” or “smoked white”. The name serves as a nod to wine’s flinty tang, said to be reminiscent of a flint-lock pistol striking (totally!), which originates from the flint-rich soil found around this corner of the Loire. If you want a wine that perfectly expresses the grape and the region where it is grown – this is as fine an example as you will encounter anywhere in the wine world...and all at this amazing price! I implore you to get a few...you will not regret it!