2010 Domaine Grosbot-Barbara - "Le Vin d'Alon" Blanc
M. Denis Barbara - Saint-Pourcain - 6.5 hectares
The VDQS appellation of Saint-Pourçain is situated in the center of Francein the Allierdepartment. This region is better known to wine professionals for its forests of prized oak trees used in barrel production than for its wines. The vineyards are planted on a series of hillsides to the west of the Allierriver ranging approximately 5 kilometers in width and 30 kilometers in length.The history of vineyards in this area dates back to before the Romans, when the Phoenicians settled here and planted vines. In fact, they claimed to have civilized the barbarians with wine. During the 13th and 14th centuries the wines of Saint-Pourçain were highly esteemed. They traveled up to Paris via the Allier and Loire rivers and were favored by Popes, royalty and the aristocracy alike. By the end of the 18th century the vineyards of Saint-Pourçain covered more than 8,000 hectares. Today the vineyards total 1,000 hectares. The appellation received VDQS status in 1951 and is most likely soon to receive AOC status.
The distinguishing local grape variety is the Sacy, known in Saint-Pourçain as Tressallier. The variety is associated with the Yonne where it was at one time widely planted and rivaled the Chardonnay grape. Interestingly, historical references mention that the Sacy grape produced far better results in Saint-Pourçain than elsewhere. As in the Yonne, the Tressallier has been eclipsed in Saint-Pourçain by the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. M. Barbara produces his white wine from a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Tressallier. The Tressallier vines, which are naturally quite productive, are pruned to 7 or 8 bunches per vine and yield an average of 30h per hectare. Fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel vats where the wine remains on its lees until bottling in the spring.