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Back to France Part 2: Touraine Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine Paul Buisse

We’re going to be taking a virtual wine tour of France for a while here at Red Wine Please!, and the first installment featured some excellent Touraine MapVouvrays.  For this article we travel just a bit east of Vouvray, still along the river, to the commune of Montrichard.  We also switch grapes, from the Chenin Blanc of Vouvray to vineyards which grow Sauvignon Blanc, and Domaine Paul Buisse.

Paul Buisse’s ties to the wine industry in France reach back to his great, great grandfather, who founded the family business while actually selling table wine in barrel.  The family progressed to wine by the liter, improving in quality.  In 1955 John Buisse acquired the “Caves de la Boule Blanche”, or Caves of the White Ball, which is a troglodyte cave system dug into the limestone rock surface of the land.  Thought to have been the source for some of the stone which built the fabulous Chateaux of the Loire Valley, the caves to this day provide an ideal aging site, as they keep a constant temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit year round.  This is also the location of the current day winery.

Paul Buisse Winery pic

Owner and winemaker Pierre Chainier

Paul Buisse took over the family business in the 1980’s, starting as a wine merchant.  This was a tough time for table wine, as appellation wines became more popular.  The governing French system of the Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC) came to mean higher quality, and the more rustic table wines fell out of favor.  Wine was being sold by the bottle, forcing Paul to adapt.  In 1989 he purchased vineyards in the Touraine appellation and officially founded the Paul Buisse estate.  Today the vineyards cover 173 acres.  Located in a prime location, the vineyards feature a south-southwest exposure.

Paul retired in 2010, selling the estate to his friend, Pierre Chainier.  Pierre’s family has a history with wine dating back into the mid-eighteenth century.  The Chainier family was a pioneer in sustainable farming, and the vineyards today are managed using green practices.  Minimum weeding, close control of the vines and the use of pheromone treatments to control insects are all part of the sustainable agriculture approach.

The wine we have, graciously supplied by Cape Classics (you can visit their website by clicking here) is Sauvignon Blanc.  Specifically it is the 2015 Vintage, so this is a very early look at last year’s results.

2015 Domaine Paul Buisse Sauvignon Blanc – the vines for these grapes average 25 years, and are set in clay and limestone IMG_1990soils 328 feet above sea level.  The 2015 season saw a cool spring, a dry summer and a beautiful September, lasting through the harvest which occurred early in the month.  The wine is done using a traditional approach of cold settling fermentation in stainless.  One to three months on the lees followed, and then bottling.  Bottling usually takes place from December to June.  What did we think?

The wine is light straw in color, with a big nose of grapefruit and peach.  The palate is crisp and clean letting the fruit shine through.  This is all about the fruit.  Bright acid gives the wine beautiful balance, and the finish is clean throughout.  Oysters on the half shell would pair wonderfully, as would almost any seafood.  On the second day we found more of a melon fruit in on the nose, but the wine was still great.  Best of all it has a $12.99 retail price.  This is a great value there.  Quality wine at a ridiculously low price.  I loved this wine.

So after two stops in the Loire Valley we have found excellent Chenin Blanc and excellent Sauvignon Blanc.  We will look at more, including our next stop in which we go back to Vouvray, and the wines of Domaine Vincent Careme.  We also return to Chenin Blanc, and we must warn you things could get sparkling at some point.  For the red wine fans out there don’t worry, we’ll be looking at Chinon shortly.

You can read the first installment in the Back to France series by clicking here.

You can read the next installment by clicking here.

A votre santé!

2 comments to Back to France Part 2: Touraine Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine Paul Buisse

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