The Washington Post

The Washington Post


Clos de la FINE Muscadet Côtes de GrandLieu sur Lie

Clos de la FINE Muscadet Côtes de GrandLieu sur Lie


Jérôme CHOBLET

Jérôme CHOBLET


CLOS de la FINE Muscsadet Cotes de GrandLieu

CLOS de la FINE Muscsadet Cotes de GrandLieu


CLOS de la FINE 2009 - Muscadet, highly recommended by The WASHINGTON POST

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July 19, 2012
By: Julie DUMON

The Washington Post

By Dave McIntyre, Published: July 17

Very interesting article generally speaking about the Loire Valley, ending with a nice, truly unique and so true description of 2009 CLOS de la FINE Muscadet Côtes de GrandLieu from Jérôme CHOBLET...

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The Loire Valley stretches east to west across the upper midriff of France, like an old man's belt pulled a little too high. As it flows, the white wine grapes grown along its banks progress from robust Sauvignon Blanc in Sancerre (which I wrote about last week), to opulent and sometimes sweet Chenin Blanc in Vouvray and Saumur, and finally to the crisp and lean melon de Bourgogne, the grape of Muscadet, near the Atlantic coast.

Muscadet, made in a region around Nantes, near the Atlantic coast in Britanny, is an underappreciated wine. It has enough of a traditional reputation that several are available, but it lacks the cachet of the wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux or the Rhône, or even the celebrated Loire whites of Sancerre. All of is which is to say Muscadet can be a great value.

The wines taste of melons and tree fruit, with structure and mineral quality that hold up even in ripe vintages like those from 2009 and 2010, when the acidity is low.Most are made without oak influence. There is often a saline character reminiscent of the nearby sea, a flavor that has lade Muscadet a traditional partner to raw shellfish. They are also ideal partners to seafood salads and lighter fish dishes that tend toward the brin y side of the spectrum.

Most French wines are named for their appellation: Burgundy, !champagne, Côtes-du-Rhône, etc. The main exception is Alsace, where the wines are labeled by grape variety (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, Gewurztraminer). Muscadet follows neither convention; it is simply the name of the wine, not the region nor the grape. A specific area name is tacked on; most are labeled "Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine".

Reflecting their origin in the region around the Sèvre and Maine rivers, two Loire tributaries. About 15 percent of the area's wines are labeled as Muscadet de Coteaux de la Loire or Muscadet c^potes de GrandLieu. Muscadet is not a blended wine. It is made 100 percent from the melon de Bourgogne grape, considered a cousin of chardonnay.

Muscadet is certainly not muscatel, or any other sweet plonk.

Many muscadets are labeld "Sur Lie", meaning the wine is aged on the yeast that settles when fermentation stops. This technique adds body and complexity to the finished wine. Modern winemaking techniques with strict temperature control for cold fermentation give most muscadets a bracing freshness. Although we see them young in our retail shelves, their structure can help them age for a decade or more. So if you find a forgotten bottle in your collection, don't despair.

An my recent tastings, I was smitten by the Clos de la Fine 2009 from Jérôme CHOBLET of Domaine des HERBAUGES. A Muscadet Côtes de GrandLieu, it smells like a melon patch by the sea, less earthy than some, and yet its structure and mienrality were apparent. It's a beguiling wine, though I found it had a negative effect on conversation. It draws me inward to a beach in my imagination, the wine swirling in my glass like waves crashing against the shore. Now, where are those oysters?

Recommendations:

*** Exceptional  - ** Excellent  - * Very Good

Clos de la Fine 2009 Muscadet de GrandLieu, Loire Valley, France, $14
***
Tasting like ripe melon, this wine has a stony mineral quality that gives it length and structure.


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