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Four from Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine

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It occurred to me a few months ago while drinking a nice bottle of ’09 Laurent Grégoire “Domaine de Beauregard” Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie that we haven’t been enjoying enough Muscadet at our house lately. Muscadet, white, bone dry and the perfect wine for oysters, and a variety of other seafood as well; we’ve been tasting the stuff going back to the late ’80s, but not so much recently, which is a shame, because the good ones are among our very favorite styles of vinous libations. I decided to correct that, and picked up on four selections that are available in our neighborhood, starting with an old favorite from one of the very finest Muscadet producers.

2009 Luneau-Papin Domaine Pierre de la Grange Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Vieilles Vignes, 12% alc., $14.99: Clean, medium color, with a classic melange of flavors and aromas that include chalky minerality, grapefruit, tart green apple, rain water and river stones. Medium bodied, with great acids and nice length. Very expressive and a real delight to drink (we went back and bought two cases), but remember not to chill it (or any of these) too much, because you’ll mask the wine’s dynamic character.
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Louis/Dressner Selections, Imported by LDM Wines, Inc., New York, NY

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2008 Domaine de la Fruitiere Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie “Petit M”, 12% alc., $11.99: Clean, medium color, and true to Muscadet Sevre et Maine in pretty much every way; it has the tart, bone dry fruit, the stony minerality and the racy acidity. Medium bodied, with good length and a certain austerity, all that is lacking is that little spark that takes the better specimens like Lunau-Papin, Domaine de la Pepiere and often, Chateau la Cariziere above and beyond the simply good, which this certainly is. Good QPR and a solid wine, but when you can get a clearly superior wine like the following selection for a buck more, which one are you going to buy? Find this wine

Imported by Jon-David Headrick Selections LLC, Ashville, NC

2009 Chateau de la Cariziere Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, 12% alc., $12.99: I enjoyed this as an aperitif during a recent visit to the Forest Grill in Birmingham, Michigan, and it’s readily available at several local retailers. We’ve liked Jo Landron’s wines in the past, so it wasn’t much of a leap to give this one a try, and I’m pleased to report that it satisfies in every way. Pale-to-medium in color, and showing perhaps a bit more fruit than many Muscadets, but it’s balanced by the superb stony minerality. Medium bodied, with excellent acids and length, this is one that I could enjoy on a daily basis. Interestingly a week or so afterward, I tried an ’08 version of this, and it wasn’t as good as the ’09, which makes me wonder if perhaps there aren’t some vintage issues with it and the wines noted directly above and below.  Find this wine

Imported by Eagle Eye Imports LLC, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Damien Casten, Jo’s Illinois importer provides additional information on the vintage issue below in the comments section and provided a link to a video which we’ve reposted here.

In his own words, here’s a video on Jo Landron talking about the freshness in Muscadet.

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2008 Domaine De L’auriere Muscadet Sevre Et Maine Sur Lie, 11.5% alc., $9.99-11.49: This one is new to me, and on the whole, it does everything that good Muscadet should do. It delivers the bone dry fruit, stony minerality and zippy acidity, all on a medium bodied frame. But, like the Domaine de la Fruitiere, it’s just not very exciting; it doesn’t have the pizazz to take it beyond the ordinary, which is OK for the price, I suppose, but again, I’ll spend a buck or two more for wines that are clearly superior. Maybe I should have had it with some oysters…
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Imported by AHD Vintners, Warren, MI

Based on the Domaine de Beauregard, Luneau-Papin and Chateau la Cariziere bottlings, it’s clear to me that further investigation into these is a must. It also occurs to me that we haven’t been drinking enough wine from Alsace lately. Hmm…

Reporting from Day-twah,

geo t.

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8 Responses to “Four from Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine”

  • George Heritier:

    jarred, I look at Muscadet the same way I do rose; warmer weather may be the optimum time for consumption, but we love ‘em all year ’round at our house. We’re game for anything! Let’s talk…

    Cheers,

    geo

  • we’ll need to plan a muscadet throwdown sometime… i’ve got about 18 bottles stashed away, with multiple vintages from some of the better producers. should we wait for warmer weather?

  • Thanks! Glad the video appeals. Talking to winemakers is the second best part of the job. (Drinking with winemakers would be the best!).

  • George Heritier:

    Damien, thank you so much! We’ve added the video directly to the body of our report, and will link to it from our Facebook page as well. Very interesting indeed!

  • In reading this I realized that I had some footage with Jo talking about acidity in Muscadet, and particularly vintage variation. So, in response to your observations on the differences between 08 and 09, I am happy to offer a quickly produced, indirect answer straight from Jo. Here he talks about warm years like 2003 and colder years like 2008 and 1998. Interesting that in warmer years with lower acidity he says he needs to plough more to boost minerality and offest the lower acididty.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X_sbJHzD5U

  • George Heritier:

    Thanks for taking the time to give us some feedback, Damien, we appreciate it! It was pretty obvious just from these few wines that the vintages had significantly different personalities.

    I’ve met Jo a couple of times now when he’s come through the Detroit area and he’s a great guy! The wines, of course, speak for themselves.

    Cheers,

    geo

  • Hi Gang,

    I am Jo Landron’s importer in IL. It’s worth noting that 08 and 09 were dramatically different vintages. The 2009′s across the board in Muscadet are softer and many show more RS than might be expected. It was warm at the end of the season and the acid / sugar balance changed rapidly. The 08′s never had this spike in heat and remain leaner than the 09′s. The real challenge in 09 for Muscadet growers was to pick before it was too late and the wines lost their tell-tale grip. Jo of course was tuned into this and I think did a great job with a vintage that was a bit atypical for the region.

    In Muscadet we trust!

    Damien

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Claudia Tyagi. Claudia Tyagi said: RT gangofpour: It occurs to me that we haven’t been drinking enough wine from Alsace lately- 4 Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine http://j.mp/gFBYtb #wine [...]

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