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
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.
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,