So you might be thinking “what the heck does all that gobbledygook in the title really mean”? While the title of this post is a mouthful the wine certainly is not, more on that later. Let’s decipher the title a bit so we can better understand what is going on here.
First, this wine comes from Muscadet, a subregion of the Loire Valley region in France. There might be some confusion here as the grape is Melon de Bourgogne not Muscadet. Melon is the child of Pinot Noir and the nearly extinct Gouais Blanc. It grows well in cool maritime climates, thus well suited for the lower Loire Valley just off the Atlantic Ocean.
Next we have Sevre et Maine which is an appellation (AOP) of the Muscadet region. The name means “of the Sevre and Maine Rivers” and as it implies this region is just off the rivers near Nantes. Producers in this region commonly label their bottles with sur lie. This translates to “on the lees” which means they age the wine on the dead yeast byproduct of fermentation. While this might sound rather off-putting, aging wines on lees allows for a creamier mouthful feeling with a slight zesty like spritz.
Finally we have the producer, Gadais Pere et Fils. Right in the heart of the Saint-Fiacre-sur-Maine commune the 47 hectare vineyards provide the grapes for the wineries 4 different bottlings. The Vieilles Vignes is made from plants averaging 80 years in age and is the flagship wine for the estate. So there you have it broken down and hopefully a bit clearer. The key to learning more about wine is being able to know where and how a bottle is produced. This Muscadet is a classic example from the region, ready for drinking, especially with food.
Look: In the glass this wine is a bright greenish straw yellow colour with thick narrow legs.
Smell: The true character of this wine and region comes through upon smelling. Not powerfully aromatic but there is plenty of tree fruit like apple, pear, and lime, a yeasty bread fragrance, some salty like minerality, and a touch of bitter green herbs. The thing I find most interesting is the saline or salty aromas coming through here. I’m not 100% sure if this is from the grape or the region but it certainly is unlike a lot of wines I’ve tried before.
Taste: While being light bodied there is a deceptively oily thick texture to this wine balanced nicely with its bracing acidity. The flavours are tart, almost bitter, with lemon, unripened peach, green apple, and bitter garden greens. The salt like minerals come through again as this wine transitions to a long subtle finish with a slight waxiness and sweet lemon peel flavour, ending with a peppermint touch.
Conclusion: This wine is nice and dry, tart, and zesty. The flavours are a bit subtle and this makes it perfect for pairing with seafood. I find the saline or saltiness very interesting as most wines don’t have this, but another reason to pair it with scallops in a light cream sauce. Definitely an above average wine and good I give this one a 8.0+/10. Grab a bottle, find some good fresh seafood, and have a try for yourself.
- Melon de Bourgogne (Melon)
- Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
- 2012 – 12% ABV
- Gadais Père et Fils – Vieilles Vignes
- $16.75 at Chateau Wine & Spirits
- Real cork