Reuilly is an obscure but underrated appellation in the Upper Loire named after the 10-square-mile commune of the same name, but the wines are also produced in six other villages in the same general area. The appellation encompasses a little under 400 acres of vineyards. About 1,000,000 bottles of wine are produced each year, mostly white wine from Sauvignon Blanc but also some interesting reds and rosés. There is also a good brandy made in the area.
The Reuilly appellation was created in 1937.
Climate and Viticulture
Unlike Quincy and many of the other appellations of the Upper Loire, there is little silica in the soil in Reuilly. In fact, most of the vineyards have a much more unusual soil type: a combination of sandy clay and a chalky limestone that gives the wines their own unique character.
- Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is the top grape here, and makes the best wines, just like in most of the Upper Loire. Though not too complex, these wines are intriguing because they offer a raw purity of Sauvignon Blanc that isn't too often found. Yellow-green fruit and zesty, tangy minerals are generally the flavors here. The wines are fun early on but will develop for several years.
We found three producers that we consider remarkable for this appellation.
- Château Gaillard: Simple and straightforward, Gaillard's Reuilly is a Sauvignon Blanc with classic aromas of tangy minerals, zesty fruit, and green fruit, with some herbal complexity. Though not too acidic, the wine shows the energy of the grape quite well.
- Joseph Mellot: Earthy green fruit flavors of lime and stony, zesty minerality characterize Mellot's Sauvignon Blanc from Reuilly. Intense but fresh, with a long finish, this is another underrated showing of Sauvignon Blanc's best flavors.
- Domaine de Reuilly: This namesake domaine is the best of the region and--almost more importantly for American buyers--the easiest to find. Though the basic Blanc and Rosé are okay, the Les Pierres Plates cuvée is really where it's at. More pungent and herbal than the other wines, it also shows citrus fruit, stony minerality, and surprising concentration for a white wine. It sells for around $20.
Reuilly has no real AOC-defined subregions. However, most producers do put a vineyard name on the wine bottle; one of the notable ones is "Les Pierres Plates."