Michel Redde et Fils Barre à Mine Blanc Fume de Pouilly 2014…

In 2009, Loire boutique producer Michel Redde began a titanic and unique project in an old disused flint quarry called Les Champs des Froids in the Village of Tracy-sur-Loire. 


The site, which has a beautiful south west exposure, was cleared by the domaine, prepared and planted with 4 hectares of vines on the rocky flint soils. The vines were planted with the aid of a crowbar (barre à mine) and 2014, the first harvest, yielded an unexpectedly exceptional level of fruit quality.


Vines are grown on Kimmeridgian Marl and Cretaceous Flint soils, that yield on average 40 to 45 hl/hectare. Vinification takes place in large barrels and demi-muids with 16 to 18 months of aging. Bottling takes place after a light bentonite fining. The wine has an impressively low pH of 3.14 but also a low(ish) total acidity of 4.4 g/l, at a 13 Abv.


Tasting Note: Michel Redde et Fils Barre à Mine Blanc Fume de Pouilly 2014 – This is top drawer Sauvignon Blanc. It has an explosive nose of gooseberries, white pepper, tangerines, orange peel, passion fruit confit and apple purée. Beautifully exotic and seductive. The palate follows the nose exactly with turbo charged flavours of white flint, stone fruits, tangerines, passion fruit and green apples and a subtle saline bite on the finish. Such lovely mid palate fleshy fruit and vibrant, bristling acidity. You don’t get this sort of concentration and flavour complexity from average vineyards… only the best sites. 2014 was an excellent vintage in the Loire and this exotic, impressive expression of Sauvignon Blanc bears testament to the fact. (Wine Safari Score: 94+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

The dirty secrets are out… My Dirty Dozen Top 12 stand out wines.

The 27th September 2016 saw another edition of the Dirty Dozen Trade Tasting at the Vinyl Factory in London. 

This is still one of the most exciting events on the London tasting circuit as all the twelve “members” still endeavour to show some of the top wines in their portfolios.

Inevitably, over the years, the wines on taste have become ever so slightly more pedestrian as there really isn’t any point putting a wine on a tasting when it’s sold out pre-release on allocation… and most unicorn wines are certainly pre-allocated and practically unobtainable for most trade new comers. 

But I suppose these are the fine wine times we live in. Scarcity and rarity rule the roost. We all want what we can’t have. Nevertheless, here is a photographic snapshot of my top 12 wines tasted…in no particular ranking…in case you were not able to attend and want some top tips!




Whites:

Dewaldt Heyns Weathered Hands Viognier 2015 Tulbagh

Blank Bottle Riesling 2015 Elgin

Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc 2015 

Storm Vrede Chardonnay 2015 Hemel-en-Aarde

Pojere & Sandri Faye Bianco 2013 Dolomiti

Domaine Heitz-Lochardet Chassange-Montrachet 1er Cru La Maltroye 2013

Reds:

Niepoort Poeirinho Baga Bairrada Tinto 2013

Niepoort Conciso Dao Tinto 2012

Envinate Albahra Tinto 2014

Mother Rock Mourvèdre 2015 Swartland

De Toren Fusion V 2012 Stellenbosch

Savage Red Blend 2014 Western Cape