Small and relatively unknown appellations like Quincy and Pouilly-Loche’ can often be the source of well-made wines at reasonable prices.

Quincy is a very small appellation in France’s Loire Valley where wines are made from sauvignon blanc. It rarely earns more than a paragraph from American wine writers, who focus on the neighboring and larger appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, yet, it was the second vineyard area in France to earn appellation status.

Quincy is softer on the palate and with less aggressive citrus aromas than most Sancerres and Pouilly-Fumes. You can call it a gentler and kinder wine. I call it delicious.

adele rouze'.jpgWinemaker Adele Rouze’

A few weeks ago, I opened the 2010 Domaine Adele Rouze’ Quincy. Rouze’ is a 32-year-old winemaker who was given some old-vine parcels by her father, Jacques Rouze’. Some of the vines were planted in the 1920s, others in the 1950s.

Rouze’ is conscious about her viticulture and winemaking. She tries to farm with only natural products and uses the natural yeast on the grapes to start the fermentation. While not organic, it is respectful winemaking.

The 2010 Domaine Adele Rouze’ Quincy has a fragrant white flower and mild citrus aroma, and its medium body carries a savory mix of lemon and pear flavors with mild acidity. This was an irresistible combination for Mezza’s dish of steamed artichokes stuffed with ground beef served with basmati rice and lemon dressing.

Only a minuscule 8,000 bottles of the 2010 Domaine Adele Rouze’ Quincy was produced. Don’t miss getting some.

Because Quincy is not in the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume constellation, it retails for a very reasonable $18.

One might consider Quincy large when compared to Pouilly-Loche’. Part of the Macon region, Pouilly-Loche’ is home to only 10 domaines, whose total production is 20,000 cases. Its neighbor, the internationally known Pouilly-Fuisse’, produces more than a half million cases annually.

Chardonnay is the only coin of the Pouilly-Loche’ realm. The non-vintage Marcel Couturier Pouilly-Loche’ Vieilles Vignes is made from 85-year old vines. The thirtysomething Couturier is making a name for himself with attentive and careful winemaking. In this rendition, he only uses 2- to 4-year-old barrels to age the wine, giving us a pleasing vanilla and lemon scent with very tasty white peach and pear flavors. The acidity is perfectly balanced with the ripe fruit leaving a long, lingering finish.

Couturier coaxed only enough juice from these old vines to make 800 bottles. An infinitesimal 300 are in the United States. The non-vintage Marcel Couturier Pouilly-Loche’ Vieilles Vignes is a modest $25.