Sébastien Treuillet in one of his parcels of vines in AC Pouilly-Fumé
Sébastien Treuillet is the first in his farming family to be a vigneron, previously they have been cereal producers. Indeed Sébastien still looks after 140 hectares of cereals in addition to his 12 hectares of vines. The majority of his vines are in the Pouilly-Fumé appellation but he also has 3.5 ha in the Coteaux du Giennois and 2 hectares of vin de pays.
"I started to get into vines and wine when I was around 15 as I had a friend in Sancerre whose family were vignerons and I would go and stay there," Sébastien explains. "After working in Sancerre for Pierre Dézat (Verdigny) and then the Champaults (Champtin) I started up on my own in 1991."
He has a number of different parcels on different soils – argile-kimmeridgean, sandy soils as well as some caillottes – limestone dominated with very little soil. On the argile-kimmeridgean soils Sébastien is unusual in using the Courson-Royat pruning system, which he finds keeps the yields down, whereas on his more sandy soils he has the Guyot system, which is classic in this area (see photo above).
Vines pruned using the Courson-Royat system
Recently Sébastien has been able to plant vines at Villiers where a considerable area of potential vineyard has become available in the north east of the appellation not far from the well established Château Favray. He is one of a number of vingnerons, including Alexandre Bain, who are now planting there. Much of this new vineyard is bare limestone – cailottes.
Bare limestone soil@Villiers
Eight day old vine amongst the rocks
Back at Sébastian's winery in Fontenille we tasted the recently bottled 2011 Pouilly-Fumé. "I haven't need to chaptalise since 2004," says Sébastien with some pride. "This 2011 reached 13% natural alcohol on an average of 60 hl/ha." This grassy 2011 has attractive weight and richness – very much in the style of 2011 – but with some freshness in the finish. We then moved onto the 2010, which is again characteristic of this vintage, much more austere and leaner with a long, precise and clean finish. Once again I think 2011 will be an easy vintage to sell because it is more flattering, while Loire fanatics are likely to prefer the austerity of 2010.