That’s Muscadet, not Muscat!: Life’s a beach

Muscadet tasting the other night at 18 Reasons was enlightening and enlivening. I was volunteering but had the pleasure of tasting 9 Muscadets from the Loire Valley. Let me stop before I begin to wax poetic about the joys of LV and just get to my notes on four of the wines.

First up was the sparkler, the n/v Atmosphere from Domaine de la Louvetrie (by winemaker Jo Landron). Sea salt spray on nose, tart fruit mellowed by oats and yes, yeast in abundance. Kind of fun especially if you like sour (I do).

Domaine de la Pépière was next, featuring the artistry of winemaker Marc Ollivier. I just want to talk and talk about the 2010 Clos des Briords (old vines), which I need to stash in my cellar. Honeyed nose, rich on the palate, stony with a long citrus finish and hint of straw. Oh my, what might it become with a few more years of aging?

Two of the wines from Domaine Luneau-Papin (winemaker Pierre Luneau-Papin) left an impression on me for opposite reason. The 2010 VV Pierre de la Grange intoxicated me with its straightforward “drink me now,” fresh, bright minerality – with a hint of spice. Then we ended on a non-Melon de Bourgogne based wine, the 1993 Gros Plant (a.k.a., the grape variety Folle Blanche.) It was a tart mind-bender. The color of cream sherry, it had a nutty nose but surprised you with a big acidic kick. The wine had been decanted but still begged for more air. It was definitely not a usual taste but one that I enjoyed– it was complex and kept evolving in my glass. Sip, savor, slow and mindful wine tasting was in order with that puppy.

So don’t say goodbye to summer — yet! Instead, open a bottle of Muscadet to serve with oysters, shrimp or fish done simply and say hello to sun, sand and surf. Cheers!

PS – No disrespect meant for Muscat. In Paris I had lovely versions that made wonderful aperitifs. That is another story to tell because here in the USA have been unable to find anything quite like the ones there. The quest continues.

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