Andrew Guard

2018 Touraine Blanc 'Buisson Pouilleux', Clos de Tue-Boeuf

100% Sauvignon Blanc. Named for the site, this wine comes from a single 1.1-hectare parcel of Sauvignon, half of which is still 65-year-old vines, while the other half has slowly been replanted and now ranges from 3 to 20 years old. It is planted on sand and gravel soils and is organically farmed and hand-harvested. As is typical of Tue-Boeuf, the wine is fermented with natural yeasts and aged on its lees with stirring in used Burgundy barrels for 12 months; it is bottled unfiltered and with only a minute amount of sulfur. This is the most richly textured, full-bodied, almost-buttery, tropical-flavored of the 3 Tue-Boeuf Sauvignon Blanc bottlings. Classified as Touraine AOC, as is the similarly named but different bottling Le Petit Buisson (which is from slightly younger vines on clay-limestone soils, aged only 6 months in barrel).

Clos de Tue-Bœuf is run by two brothers, Jean-Marie and Thierry Puzelat, who tend their 10-hectare family estate in Les Montils (in the Cheverny AOC) and rent 6 hectares in a village nearby, in the Touraine AOC. The brothers were luck, their father had always worked Clos du Tue Boeuf with a very limited range of organic products and so the soils are alive; he also had never machine-harvested his vineyards or used industrial yeasts. The resultant wines are vibrant, translucent, and explosively flavourful and in many ways taste like they are home-made in that they have an honesty, truthfulness and wholesomeness in their flavours.