They sound so similar — Pouilly-Fuissé and Pouilly Fumé — but the former is made from chardonnay grapes in France's Macon region, while the latter is made from sauvignon blanc grapes in the Loire. Both are luscious in their own right and both are full-bodied white wines, but the Pouilly Fumé has that distinctive gun flint nose that sets it apart. A very fine example of the wine is the 2010 Jonathan Didier Pabiot Pouilly Fumé, which we bought at a local big-box store for $19.
The flint that characterizes both the aroma and the taste of this deliciously complex white comes from the mineral soils of the region, which give the wine its wonderful dry edge. Beyond that, it shares other sauvignon blancs' lively and fresh fruit, from light and bright lemon and pear on the nose to juicy white peach, ripe pear and key lime on the tongue. Those stone fruits, albeit in attenuated form, persist through a long, clean, refreshing finish, with lime popping up smartly again right at the end.
This stellar white will pair dreamily with seared sea scallops and mango salsa. It also is just right for sipping on its own or with hors d'oeuvres.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.