Muscadet: It's Not Muscat!

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  • By Samantha Dugan
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Muscadet:  It's Not Muscat!

Wines from Muscadet are dry, white, minerally, fresh-tasting, vibrant and alive, almost to the point of being electric. Despite the similar name, these Loire Valley seafood wines are not related to the sweet wines of Asti.

"Pale, racy, and dry, Muscadet's appeal is its delicacy and the steely vigor it expresses within that context.  Its tart lemon tang is offset by savory almond flavors and a Badoit-like taste of minerals.  A barely perceptible sparkle lifts the wine across the palate with an exciting, hard, cold tingle, like a mountain stream flowing fast over rocks."--Jacqueline Friedrich, A Wine and Food Guide to the Loire

 

First thing everyone must know about Muscadet, it’s NOT Muscat!

 

So, don’t go curling up your lips and saying, “I don’t like sweet wine.”  Doesn’t apply here, no relation whatsoever.  

 

In fact, the wines from Muscadet are for those who like their white wines bone dry, unoaked and with bracing acidity.

Muscadet is located at the far western end of France’s Loire Valley.  The grape grown in Muscadet is Melon de Bourgogne, a variety that seems to thrive in cool climates and wet or marine areas, which makes it a perfect partner for, you guessed it, seafood!  Muscadet is a go-to oyster wine, but also loves mussels, clams and river fish.  

Not a seafood lover?  Makes no difference, don’t fret, these vibrant, crispy little value-driven white are fun to just sip and pair great with green veggies, herbs, goat cheeses and salads with zesty vinaigrette.

 

Come get those mouths a-watering and lips-a-smacking.

 

2018 Domaine Bouchaud Muscadet Sevre Et Maine

A new edition to our little Muscadet section. We were instantly charmed by the bit of baby fat we found on this otherwise nervy and racy white wine. Some gentle stone fruit mixed with citrus rind and river stones. Lots of personality and not quite the lightning rod some Muscadet can be.

$12.99 per bottle

 

2018 Jo Landron La Louvetrie Muscadet Sevre Et Maine

This is textbook Muscadet but with a broader, more focused energy. Bits of citrus, anise and nectarine on the nose, the palate is light a lightning bolt of racy and vibrating fruit with a blast of minerality. Both silky and jagged at the same time. Feisty and serious at the same time. If you like a little electric jolt on your sipping wines this is for you, but if you slide this up against a plate of cold briny bivalves it tames the wine a little and the wine acts like a quick blast of lemon. Yum.

$14.99 per bottle

 

2015 Jo Landron Le Fief Du Breil Muscadet Sevre Et Maine

All the Melon de Bourgogne for this high-end Muscadet comes from a single walled in vineyard that is farmed biodynamically. 2015 is the current release for this layered and complex Muscadet and with that extra time the wine has fleshed out and the acidity has folded into the fruit beautifully. Nearly silky and chewy in the mouth, good flesh and length. Roast up some chicken or white fish and pop the cork!

$22.99 per bottle

 

2016 Perle De Mer Muscadet Serve Et Maine

One of the hottest things going in the world of nerdy wine things right now are the wines from Loire Valley's most western appellation, Muscadet. The steely, mineral rich and high acid wines made from Melon de Bourgogne are the go-to oyster wines of France, their bracing acid a perfect partner to the briny bivalves, but it is the wines with a touch of age on them that has all of us wine nerds digging in and looking for more to taste, serve, guzzle. Muscadet is a slam-dunk when it comes to value wines, most selling for $15 and under but the wines that are held back a little, allowed to flesh out, fill out and blossom into something with a touch of weight and curve to go with all that mineral, well that has us all a buzz as it were. We were able to nab the very last case of this 2016 from Perle de Mer and we were thrilled to get it. Plenty of stone fruit along with that marine like saline and damp green aromas. Nice weight on the palate while still retaining that lovely snap of vibrant acidity. Long, fresh and easy to gulp.

$14.99 per bottle

 

2016 Complemen’Terre Muscadet Serve Et Maine

There has been quite a bit of interest around here lately in a term called, “natural wines”. Really isn’t a true category as there, as of yet, has not been defined. Let me first say that the majority of the wines we stock, especially in our French department, are farmed organically. It’s just standard for a lot of the tiny growers we deal with. That said, because they are small family domaines they don’t go out of their way for certification. It costs them more and as I said, that is just their standard farming. The “natural wine” thing that has been getting the buzz however, are the wild, somewhat funky, cloudy wines that fall under the “natural wine” blanket. These wines are quite different and are most definitely not everyone’s cup of, well, cup of wine. This Complemen’Terre falls squarely in that wild and funky category that folks are looking for. Nose is like hard cider, or a apple cellar, damp, wooly, lots of apple skin and fermented aromatics. On the palate there is sizeable texture and more of those wild yeasty, stone fruit flavors. Bit of a crazy ride but a fun one if you are into those super-natural wines.

$24.99 per bottle

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