Pouilly-Fumé is an (AOP) for dry white wines from the Loire Valley wine region in France. Pouilly-Fumé wines are made solely from the Sauvignon Blanc varietal - and characterised by smoky notes and minerality. The vineyards are located in the communes Pouilly-sur-Loire, Saint-Andelain, Boisgibault, Tracy-sur-Loire (Nièvre).
The Pouilly Fumé is crafted from Sauvignon Blanc, that when mature - the berries are covered in a smoke-coloured, grey bloom, which explains why the Pouilly wine growers talk about Blanc Fumé (smoked white) to describe the Sauvignon grape or wines produced from it. The word fumé also refers to the unparalleled aromas and bouquet (smoky aroma - the famous gun flint aroma), which comes from the outstanding terroir of Pouilly / Loire vineyards.

 

Several million years old, the Pouilly soils are made up of Kimmeridgian marls and hard calcareous rock and flint, giving Pouilly Fumé its minerality, finesse and its unique fresh and lively character, and lingering mouth-feel, with hints of lifted fruits. These may include citrus fruits from the area and elsewhere (gooseberries, white-peach, passion-fruit, lychee), white flowers (acacia, lily); as well as hazelnut and quince.
Pouilly Fumé can be kept for 5 to 10 years, depending on the particular vintage. It normally peaks in its second or third year. It exists as a white wine only and should not be confused with the similar-sounding Maçon wine, Pouilly Fuissé, made from the Chardonnay grape.

Situated just across the river from Sancerre - Pouilly-Fumé is known for balanced, well structured wines. There have been vines planted on the hillsides of Pouilly-Fumé since the 5th century AD, although they were destroyed twice: in the late 9th century by a battle between King Charles the Bald and Lothaire, and a thousand years later by phylloxera. Until that time, most of the grapes grown in Pouilly-Fumé were of the Chasselas varietal, which were sent to Paris as table grapes. Once trains began to transport less expensive table grapes from other parts of France, the growers of Pouilly-Fumé turned to wine production and saw a bright future in Sauvignon Blanc which is now the dominant grape varietal in the region.
Seafoods and white meats are all excellent complements to the smoke and flint characters, plus its structure and balance make it a good pairing with richer seafood dishes.