"The Preys 2009 Touraine Fie Gris Vieilles Vignes, from ancient vines of a progenitor of Sauvignon, and always yielding his most interesting wine…a Chablis-like combination of fresh lemon, rich chicken stock, herbs, and chalk. Surprisingly firm and bright for its vintage and with real cut and concentration…it should prove quite useful and interesting over the next several 2-3 years, and perhaps even beyond."—The Wine Advocate
Before there was Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, certainly before Marlborough or perhaps even Sauternes. Before there was Sauvignon Blanc, storytellers and wine historians say, there was Fie Gris. Fie Gris is believed to be the source of Sauvignon Blanc, a dashingly pure and lively white grape that both combines the whiplash freshness of Loire whites with a juicy body and pep very much its own.
Winemaker Jacky Preys has become a one-man preservation society for Fie Gris in Touraine, and today is one of the leading producers of this stunningly pure and very old vine white. As much as we love Sancerre, there is plenty to go around—but Fie Gris is an unusual treasure and one that especially in 2009 that needs to be experienced and enjoyed.
In French, pierre à fusil means gunflint, and the area where Preys grows his very old vines (some are as old as 100 years, and many survived the phylloxera blight—a rare thing) in Touraine is historically known for gunflint production. These mineral soils infuse the wine with a vibrant, nervous energy that gives great definition to both the wine’s abundant perfumes and its rich, juicy core of blushed-white fruit.
The 2009 vintage in the Loire (like in so much of France) was a blockbuster year, a vintage where everything clicked and Mother Nature was as kind as she's ever been—this means beautifully ripe fruit that is very terroir-driven. You won't mistake this bottle for a Pouilly-Fume, or think perhaps you've had something similar from New Zealand. It is unmistakably original and deliciously so—certainly one of our favorite sippers for the summer.