In a nutshell: A world class Loire Sauvignon Blanc only made in the best years.
The lowdown: The most famous Pouilly Fume vineyards have been in the hands of the Comte Lafond and Ladoucette families since 1787 and this is the 'icon' wine of the estate. This Grande Cuvee is only made in the best years and from the first pressing of the estate's grapes matured on its lees for up to 6 months and the result is consistently one of the world's great Sauvignon Blancs. Expressive on the nose and crisp and refined on the palate. Plenty of citrus fruits with taught minerality and mouth-watering acidity, but done with great finesse, and a finish that keeps on going. This wine can age for decades.
When to drink: Drink young with seafood, the older and more complex try with white meats and richer dishes.
Since the late 18th Century, the family of Comte Lafond has owned the largest and most famous vineyards in the Pouilly region, known as the Château du Nozet. This 165 hectare estate produces 10% of the entire Pouilly Fumé appellation. In 1972 Baron Patrick de Ladoucette took over, concentrating his efforts on wine production, with an emphasis on the importance and the diversity of his estate vineyards. De Ladoucette are acclaimed for producing some of the worlds finest Sauvignon Blancs, including the top cuvée Baron de L, made from the finest parcels on the estate. It is only produced in exceptional years and is one of the few Sauvignons renowned for its ability to age. Also during Patrick de Ladoucette's watch they've added estates in Sancree, Chablis, Vouvray and Chinon. In particular Sancerre Comte Lafond has established a reputation the equal of de Ladoucette's. A £3 million investment was made to improve and modernise the winery at Château du Nozet, to further enhance the unique quality, individual style and consistency of their signature wine; de Ladoucette Pouilly-Fumé. Wines from de Ladoucette are regarded as some of the finest examples of Frances key wine producing regions, with a reputation for elegance, complexity and quality.