Those of us who are constantly chasing the next great wine can easily overlook the classics. Once upon a time, before chardonnay became ubiquitous, Pouilly-Fuissé was a go-to choice for round, smooth, fuller-bodied white wine. The prestige appellation of Burgundy’s large Macon district, it has never really gone out of favor, but a recent blind tasting of current vintages hammered home its quality across the board. The following winners are all wines of real personality that play very well with subtly sauced fish and seafood. Produced by family-owned companies, they are chardonnays unencumbered by lavish oak or excessive alcohol.
Vincent, Pouilly-Fuissé “Marie Antoinette,” 2011
($22, The Wine & Cheese Cask, Somerville)
Antoine Vincent is the proprietor of the district’s most famous single property, the Château Fuissé. This négociant bottling is a charming and reasonably priced expression with notes of ripe apple and peach. Smooth and creamy, showing a hint of peach-pit minerality and the lightest kiss of oak, this is a sleek, classy and understated Pouilly.
Domaine J.A. Ferret, Pouilly-Fuissé, 2010
($30, Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors, Waltham)
Ferret enjoys a reputation as one of the Macon’s finest domains. Growing on deep clay soils, its vines impart a richness that makes it easy to confuse the wines with "Montrachet” AOCs farther north. This vintage is a bit floral, with lush fruit on the palate and notes of toasted almond, vanilla, butterscotch, peach and racy minerality.
Jean-Pierre & Michel Auvigue, Pouilly-Fuissé “Solutré,” 2010
($30, Bauer Wine & Spirits, Newbury Street)
This producer sources from Solutré, a village with limestone and marl soils that tends to produce a crisp, flinty style of Pouilly. Light to medium in weight, it’s ripe and apple-like on the palate, with a dry, subtle undertone of citrus. Like many of these wines, there’s only a minimal oak impression.