2017 Blanc Fumé de Pouilly, Barre à Mine, Michel Redde et Fils, Loire, France
I tasted this wine for the very first time on the 31st of January and it moved me so much that I wanted to write it up on the spot. It was clear to me that this bottle was a once in a lifetime Sauvignon Blanc experience. I was told I couldn’t review it because it was a preview sample and it was not due to arrive in the UK until later in the year. Since first tasting this wine I have been playing a game of trying to think of a finer wine made from this oft-derided and seemingly out-of-fashion-with-the-cognoscenti grape. From the hundreds of labels made by the acknowledged Sauvignon Blanc masters of the universe, I cannot think of a single wine which combines all of the epic SB attributes in one single wine. Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux, Haut Brion Blanc (ok, this has Semillon on board), Gembrook Hill, early Cloudy Bays, countless Chavignols from Cotat, Redde’s own wines, Cantine Terlano, Colterenzio, Reverdy, Spottswoode, Casa Marín, Dagueneau, Dog Point, Jackson Estate, The Berrio, Iona, Viña Leyda, Dry Creek Vineyards, Larry Cherubino’s epic 2017, The Lane Vineyard’s Gathering (again with Semillon loitering with intent), Shaw & Smith, Cape Point Vineyards, Duckhorn, Greywacke, Boulay, Pellé and on and on, are all fantastic Sauvignons, but they are not as complete nor as enchanting as 2017 Barre à Mine. We can all circumnavigate the globe and pick any one of a hundred talented Sauvignon Blanc wizards’ creations and while their wines are undoubtedly delicious, impactful and worthy of admiration, I cannot remember a bottle which has the cosmic balance or the inescapable magic that this one does. I tasted it again last night and came to the conclusion that this is a wine which cannot be improved so, while I never thought that this day would come, I am overjoyed to give a Sauvignon Blanc a perfect 20/20 in my tasting notes. Barre à Mine translates as ‘Crowbar’. Never has such a blunt instrument inspired such an exquisite flavour.
The stock has now arrived in the UK, but the agents (Louis Latour Agencies) are rightly waiting for the previous vintage to come to an end before releasing this scintillating 2017. I have just been informed that Goedhuis & Co. has this wine in stock priced at £37.50 – there are only 30 cases of 12 bottles!