Villa Paulus is a particularly interesting clos. The soil is kimmeridgian clay, usually associated with Chablis. Mineral extraction from this rich white clay studded with marine fossils leads to body and richness in the wines made from vines planted in the soil. Domaine Masson-Blondelet’s plantings, between 25 and 40 years old, grow on a south-east facing slope. The earth is tilled regularly to oxygenate the ground, and vines are treated organically – no chemical fertilizers, insecticides, or herbicides are used.
Fruit is de-stemmed and pressed immediately after harvest to avoid skin contact or oxidation. Following a very gentle press and cold settling, fermentation occurs in stainless steel. After fermentation, the wine rests on very fine lees.
On the nose, this wine is pure upper Loire Sauvignon. As the wine hits the palate there is an explosion of grapefruit and lime; underpinning this is a mineral complexity and a suggestion of gun flint that differentiates it from close neighbour Sancerre. The fruit on the palate is particularly round, lush, and supple, yet retains good balancing acidity. This concentration persists impressively over the lengthy finish.