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Wine of the week: 2009 Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse

Our tasting notes for the 2009 Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse are ebullient, the margins filled with way too many exclamation points. Gorgeous! Sublime! We love it! This wine knocks us out! And it goes for about $20 at wine shops and wine savvy markets!

Pouilly-Fuisse, named for the Maconnais village where it is produced, is a very French chardonnay, as different from New World chards as a wine can be and still be made from the same grape. Vanilla? No, not a hint, as it is vinified in 100 percent stainless steel. Flinty? Yes, an expression of the limestone-rich soils on which the grapes grow that lends a lush wine a seemingly impossible crispness.

The flintiness comes through from first whiff, along with lemony citrus notes and a hint of pear. Its aroma blooms the instant it splashes into the glass. The winemaker describes the nose as "disarmingly seductive," a judgment with which we agree completely.

On the tongue, that stony edge beautifully sets off rich but light and delicately balanced flavors of lemon, lime and pear. Subtle grace notes of green apple and ginger round out a complex and satisfying profile. The finish is long and wonderfully dry, echoes of each of its principal flavors lingering right to the end.

This Pouilly-Fuisse would make a superb host gift at this season of holiday parties. It would be fantastic with stone crab or cold water oysters and was very much at home with the herb-roasted chicken with which we paired it for tasting.

By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.

Wine of the week: 2009 Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse 12/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:30am]
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