A Renaissance in Pouilly-Fuissé

Time to give the old village another look

The appellation of Pouilly-Fuissé is the largest and most important in Burgundy’s Maconnais sub-region. Located a full hour south from Beaune (cultural capitol of the Côte d’Or), Pouilly-Fuissé enjoys a far sunnier climate than the rest of Burgundy. Its pure Chardonnay cuvées exhibit an opulence and glamour that’s famously reminiscent of Meursault.

The appellation was among the first French wines widely popular in the US in the 1980s. Unfortunately Pouilly-Fuissé became a victim of its own success, synonymous with overpriced wines lacking depth and quality. But in the 2000s it began a comeback, spurred on by dedicated vignerons and increased attention to the nuances of terroir.

Today Pouilly-Fuissé is as exciting a winemaking town as anywhere in Burgundy. A new classification system recently elevated 22 vineyards to Premier Cru status, and the quality everywhere has seen a marked uptick. If you’ve ignored Pouilly-Fuissé for the last 30 years (and we wouldn’t blame you), it’s time for another look.

Our producer in Pouilly-Fuissé is Nicolas Maillet, a jovial, passionate young vigneron who seems to win a new award for his winemaking every other month. Most recently the local journal Bourgogne Aujourd’hui ranked him 15th out of the 100 best winemakers in all of Burgundy.

His 2017 Pouilly-Fuissé is magnificent, and hails from one of the plots elevated to Premier Cru last year. For years it was his only oaked cuvée, but as of 2017 he decided to raise it in stainless along with the rest of his wines.

The wine is a study in fruit, stones, purity and subtlety — far from the over-oaked buttery expression of decades ago, this is Pouilly-Fuissé as it was meant to be, bursting with lime sezt, chalk, honey and straw. The mouth is cool and long, with gorgeous golden intensity on the long, perfectly clean finish.


Maillet Pouilly-Fuissé 2017
bottle price: $39

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