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A drink with… Pascal Jolivet

One of the Loire’s most famous names and a long-time producer of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, Jolivet has some surprising views on Sauvignon Blanc

‘I don’t really like Sauvignon Blanc. Too many are unbalanced, too exuberant and aromatic, and lacking in texture – it doesn’t make you want a second glass. If you use commercial yeasts in the winemaking, it goes quickly to passion fruit, exuberance and so on; but if you use indigenous yeasts, it becomes more about the soil.

‘We wanted to address the confusion between Pouilly-Fumé [Loire Sauvignon Blanc] and Pouilly-Fuissé [Chardonnay from Mâcon in Burgundy], so we’ve relabelled our Pouilly-Fumé as Fumé Blanc. The original name of the appellation, pre-1970s, was Blanc Fumé de Pouilly, so we’re going back to our roots. I’m proud to be French, but we wanted a name that’s easy to understand in every language.

‘The late Kit Stevens MW once said, Sancerre is like spring, Pouilly-Fumé like summer – meaning that Sancerre is more immediately approachable in its youth, but with Pouilly-Fumé, you have to wait. Pouilly-Fumé is more mineral, a connoisseur’s wine. It was very famous in the 1980s and ’90s, until Sancerre eclipsed it in popularity – maybe partly because Sancerre is easier to pronounce. We’re on a mission to bring Pouilly-Fumé back.

‘I learned in Japan that Sancerre works better with sushi, Pouilly-Fumé with sashimi. In general, choose Sancerre to match white-meat fish, and Pouilly-Fumé for red-meat fish such as tuna or salmon.’


The difference between Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé – Ask Decanter

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