September 22nd, 2010

Sarah Goes To a Muscadet tasting.

Seattle has not quite settled back to its grey drizzly self. However, there is a nip in the air. It would hardly seem the time to pick up some crisp whites and chill them down. But, then again, oysters are back in season and there is no more natural pairing than briny bivalves and Muscadet Sur Lie.

Recently Campagne Restaurant hosted the Loire Valley Wine Bureau for a lunch of said pairing. The focus of the lunch was to expand the applications of Muscadet beyond summer quaffing. The examples tasted had incredible roundness, distinct terrior, focused character, and razor sharp acidity. The surprise of the afternoon came in the last flight of wines which featured three older examples of Muscadets. There are few whites wine that gain complexity with age. At ten, eleven, and fifteen years old these wines still showed remarkable freshness and sophistication. This unexpected final flight was paired with a vintage dish of fish quenelles in cream sauce: a true classic that graces few menus these days even in France. Be on the lookout around Seattle as many restaurants are featuring oysters and Muscadet on their fall menus.


2009 Bonnet-Huteau Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie: rich, round, salty, crisp apple, orange blossom, green herbal quality comes forward with oysters

2009 Domaine du Beauregard Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie: herbal, celery, salt, stones

2009 Remi Pannier Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie: metallic, steely, wet stones, lemon lime quality that cleanses the palate, moderated acidity

2008 Vincent Delhommeau Cuvee Harmonie Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie: marmalade, bees wax, salty, pomello, cedar finish

2008 Domaine l’Aujardinere (Eric Chevalier) Muscadet Cotes de Grandlieu Sur Lie: smoke, petrol, wet stones, floral, quince, nutty (slightly oxidative quality), ‘Chardonnay like’

2008 Domaine l’Ecu Expression de Orthogneiss Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie: floral, orange blossom, basil, chlorine

2000 Domaine du Haut Bourg: green almond, lily, oyster quality, musky, perfume, chestnut honey Bottled in 2007, sat on lies for seven years

1999 Luneau Papin L’Or Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie: oyster shell, brine, toasted almond, bitterness (orange pith), waxy, with food oyster quality pronounced, balanced richness

1995 Luneau Papin L’Or Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie: toasted brioche, honey, bees wax, delicate autolytic quality