Pouilly-Fuissé has come a long way from the over-oaked buttered popcorn of decades ago. Today the appellation is a hotbed of talent, with passionate young winemakers converting old vines to organics and turning out truly excellent wines. With prices for both land and wine in the Côte d’Or headed through the roof, the Maconnais has become one of the most exciting corners of Burgundy.
We spent a while this spring poking around the region, and discovered some really excellent sources. Chief among them is Sebastien Giroux, a thirtysomething winemaker farming 6 hectares (14 acres) with care and precision. Leading Burgundy critic William Kelley describes Giroux’s wines as “supple, pure and charming,” and we agree – they were thrilling at the domaine in April, and since their arrival a few weeks ago we’ve confirmed our first impressions.
Many readers have already picked up Giroux’s other two cuvées, the Macon-Fuissé ($25) and the Pouilly-Fuissé Raidillons ($35). Today we’re focused on Giroux’s old vine cuvée, which comes from 80 year old vines in particularly rocky soils. Sebastien gives this wine a year in oak barrels and then another a year en cuve before bottling – indeed, cellar patience is a pattern chez Giroux, and extra time pays tremendous dividends.
The 2019 Giroux Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes is delicious, classy white Burgundy. The oak is perfectly integrated – if you didn’t know it was there you might miss it. The nose features pure fruit accompanied by a lovely minerality, and the wine has a distinct lift. Kelley awarded 91-93 points, calling it “fleshy but precise, with vibrant acids,” and “one of the highlights of the range this year.” The concentration from the old vines unwinds slowly and gracefully in the glass – indeed you could argue the wine shows better on day two.
How you serve this is up to you, of course, but here’s what we’d do: we’d open the bottle at 10am on Sunday, pour it into a decanter and put it back in the fridge. We’d put a roasting chicken with potatoes and carrots in the oven around noon, take the wine out of the fridge around 2pm, and place both on the table at 2:30. We’d serve it in red Burgundy glasses, light some candles for effect, and pretend the two-year-old hadn’t just spilled her milk.
Giroux Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes 2019
bottle price: $35