Tale of terroir with Arnaud Bourgeois

It is more and more evident that wines themselves are not enough for the winepeople of this time. Wine lovers like to hear narratives combined with the wine on the glass. Those who are addicted want to know the backgrounds of the wines. Thus viticulture and vinification are getting more and more space. Arnaud Bourgeois, GM for vineyards Famille Bourgeois in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé (France) and Clos Henri in Marlborough (New Zealand), is right person to shed light on the work behind the true and quality wines, where terroir is the key concept.

Arnaud Bourgeois, one of the three brothers owning vineyards Famille Bourgeois, likes to teach and taste people wines from Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Marlborough. Varietal wines made of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

Terroir emphasizes the place where vines are planted
Fragmentary of the soil and fluctuation of the climate dictates the growth and essence of the grapes. Grapes offers true choices to sense the terroir, ie. how typically wine represents its origin and will embody the habitat and its circumstances.

Terroir has many aspects
As a concept terroir means holistic impact that soil, climate, microclimate, humidity, wind, light and different vines and their location brings forth with the wines. Also the actions of men are involved with the terroir.
   Microterroir is nowadays one of the keywords when diving deeper to the essence of wines. It means a plot of small land, acre or half. The special circumstances of that piece of vineyard gives wines its unique nyances. Meaning concretely that grapes from two vineyards growing besides can have different aromas and taste due to that microterroir.

Arnaud Bourgeois’s crystallization brings together soil and wines. Terroirs are the main source and inspiration for
true winemaking in Sacerre & Pouilly-Fumë (France) and in Marlborough (New Zealand).

Bourgeois Family has had vineyards ever since 1789 in Loire Valley. Nowadays their vineyards in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are spread over 72 hectares, consisting 120 different parcels. Their newest and challenging leap took place in Marlborough in New Zealand. There they established Clos Henri vineyard in 2000, consisting 110 hectares. Wines from Bourgeois Family bears the imprint and essence of tradition over centuries in viticulture and vinification as well as in France and in New Zealand. Also terroir aspect is crystalized and can be tasted through the whole range of their wines.

Glass of wine:
Sancerre Le MD de Bourgeois. France, Loire, Sancerre 2016. Alko 565847. Price 31,78.
Yellow, aromas of tropical fruits (reflecting ripe SB grapes), taste: dry, tartric acidity (6,1 g/l), green apple, mineral, fruity, concentrated and well-balanced. Kimmeridgian marl soil made up of fossilized seashells from Jura period and clay. Vines are over 35 years old and comes from the parcels that are very steep, facing south and sout-west. Only the very ripest grapes are handpicked. Grapejuice is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and afterwards wines are matured on its lees (sur lie) nearly one year before bottling, reaching roundness, richness and complexity to aromas.

Pouilly-Fume La Demoiselle de Bourgeois. France, Loire, Pouilly-Fumé 2014. Alko 942247. Hinta 35,98.
Yellow, fruity aromas, taste dry (3 g/l), high tartric acidity (6,9 g/l), herbal, oaky, mineral, flinty, balanced, rich and complex. Vineyard is on chalky Kimmeridgian marl, that is true expession of the soil, symbolising and labeling also unrivaled grape of the area, Sauvignon Blanc. Vines are old and located on the area where first, original vines were planted. Grapes gets its freshness and delicate essence through strict selection, gentle pressing, cool fermenting mostly in stailess steel tanks and some in 600 litres oak barrels. Wine obtain depth and nuances when maturated sur lie before bottling.

Sancerre Les Côtes aux Valets. France, Loire, Sancerre 2015. Alko 565847. Hinta 54,90.
Yellow, on the nose lemon, green apple,white currant and on the palate dry (2 g/l), tartric acidity (5,9 g/l). intensive, crisp with layered flavors. Wine comes from the best chalky clay plot of the single vineyard, where the vines are planted in 1986. Truely exptional wine, tight and rewarding.
Text and photos: Heikki Remes

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