It is one of the great wine-producing regions of France. And one of its best kept secrets. The Center Loire Valley region — where the beautiful and ancient province of The Berry is found — produces some great wines, like the famous Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, staples of any wine lover’s vocabulary. But it is also home to the succulent Reuilly, a fine and refined wine that is dry, earthy and rare in foreign markets. Here it is the Cher River and its tributary the Arnon that flows through the region rather than the Loire, although it is still considered geographically to be part of the Loire Valley which produces some of the most pleasant wines in all of France.
Reuilly has enjoyed the controlled designation of origin label (AOC, appellation d’origine contrôlée in French) since 1937 for its white wines made with Sauvignon grapes and since 1961 for its reds and rosés made with Pinot noir and Pinot gris grape varieties. But the wines in Reuilly have been around for over a thousand years and can be traced all the way back to King Dagobert I who in the 7th century entrusted the vineyards of the region to the monks of the Royal Abbey of Saint Denis. Some twelve hundred years later the maternal grandfather of Denis Jamain, Camille Rousseau, would plant his first Sauvignon vineyards there in 1935 giving rise today to the Domaine Denis Jamain wine estate.
Today the house produces what are regarded as some of the region’s finest Reuilly wines. They benefit from the clay and limestone soil of the good earth there and the vineyards are organic and cultivated using the methods of biodynamic agriculture. The estate has just brought out its Sauvignon Les Fossiles Blanc 2020, a refreshing white Reuilly, dry but with notes of flowers and fruits. It’s perfect at cocktail hour, the French apéritif, but also delights with fish, seafood and goat’s milk cheese, another specialty of the region.
©The Gourmet Gazette