June Wine Club

Jun 21, 2024

This heat wave makes us want to just sit around and drink a bunch of cold, delicious Muscadet, so we thought you might, too; and we happen to have three incredible wines from the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation in Western France. It lies in the lower part of the Loire Valley, near the Atlantic Ocean. The wines produced here are known for their idyllic pairing with seafood, especially oysters. Do yourself a favor and preorder some fresh oysters, or pick up a shrimp cocktail from Flagship Specialty Foods in Lakeside. These wines’ crisp acidity and mineral qualities make them an excellent match for a perfect summer evening, and we are fortunate enough to have been getting many of those nights lately.

Cheers,

  1. & E. Mullins

Domaine de la Louvetrie ‘Atmosphères’ NV

Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, France

A strong advocate for organic and biodynamic farming practices, winemaker Jo Landron converted his vineyards to organic farming in 1999 and later adopted biodynamic practices. These methods emphasize using natural processes and materials, avoiding synthetic chemicals, and promoting soil health and biodiversity. Dedicated to expressing the unique terroir of his vineyards, he is meticulous with vineyard management and has minimal intervention in the winemaking to reflect his focus on terroir. He believes that the character of the soil and the environment should shine through in the wines. A perfect kick-off to anything is bubbles, and you don’t see many bubbles from this region as there is no designated appellation for a crémant. So, that is perhaps why Landron considers this traditional method of sparkling wine the “fairy of the winery.” Made with Folle Blanche 36% Pinot noir 33% Chardonnay 31%. The hand-harvested grapes are directly pressed in whole clusters and fermented with natural yeasts. The result is fresh, acidic, and mineral-driven, which at the same time is delicate and persistent. In the glass, it shows a dreamy, light, cloudy peach hue. The nose is earthy, like sand baked in the sun all day. The palate is so lively, with millions of tiny bubbles, that a creamy, lemony tartness carries through to the long, clean finish. So fun!

2022 Domaine de la Louvetrie ‘Amphibolite’

Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, France

Next is a more traditional Muscadet by Landron made with 100% Melon de Bourgogne and sur lie aging technique. Named after the terroir the 35 to 40 year-old vines grow in, “Amphibolite” is a bright young muscadet that begs to be chilled and opened now with its stelvin top; it is said that it expresses itself best in its youth. Exclusively hand-harvested grapes and directly pressed whole cluster. Fermentation is with natural yeasts. The aging method “sur lie” means on its lees, which are dead yeast cells. Doing this for an extended period, adds complexity, texture, and richness to the wines. This traditional technique of Muscadet adds richness, complexity, and a creamy mouthfeel to the wine while still preserving its fresh and vibrant character. It also aids the wine in naturally fining itself for clarity—a nice yellow tone in the glass where the weight of the wine is apparent. The nose is completely reminiscent of a bag of fresh oysters. The palate is subtle and delicate with briny and silky, mouth-watering notes, and the gentle tugging acidity holds it all together.

2020 Domaine de la Pépiere ‘Clisson’

Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clisson Controlée, France

This is a Cru Muscadet, meaning the vineyard site has been designated as one of the highest-quality vineyards in the appellation. The Melon de Bourgogne vines here are 60+ years old, and the terroir is granite de Clisson, a tough, compact form of granite. This terroir contributes to the wine’s distinct minerality and complexity. The granite is covered with sandy and gravel-like topsoil, which allows for a natural drainage that allows the fruit flavors to concentrate. The farming is certified biodynamic, and the vineyards are tended by hand. The hand-harvested bunches are directly pressed, and the juice settles naturally overnight. It is then fermented spontaneously with natural yeasts and aged on its lees for at least two years in underground vats. While many Muscadet wines are enjoyed young, the Clisson cuvée from Domaine de la Pépière has excellent aging potential. The wine’s structure, acidity, and complexity allow it to develop additional layers of flavor and texture over several years. Its already 4 years old, but suppose you can set this on its side for a while (3-5 years?). In that case, it will develop more complex aromas and flavors, improve its texture, and enhance its minerality, providing a richer and more rewarding drinking experience over time. Although it is drinking quite beautifully now, too. A vibrant yellow in the glass. Aromas of apple, pear, stone fruit, and minerality jump out at you. The palate feels like olive oil coating your tongue; a rich bouquet of fruit continually opens to more layers as the wine grows in your glass. It’s a wine to savor.