Muscadet, for now and forever.

July 17, 2013 § 1 Comment

ImageWhy forever? Because you can age it, dummy! Muscadet is briny, light and great with oysters. Yes. Sure. I get you. But there’s a lot more to the story. My column in the Portland Press Herald last week tells a small sliver of that story.

Gist: Great Muscadet is not to be trifled with. Set aside your oysters, and bring on the main course, even if the main course includes hearty fish, cockles and clams, sausage. And one of the greats of the greats is Guy Bossard. Bossard is a legend in the Loire for his low-tech, all-natural approach. Now that he’s in his 60s and looking to the future, has hired a protégé, Fred Niger, and the winery is now called Domaine de L’Écu.

Whatever you call ’em, the wines are extraordinary now, but will gain tremendous complexity over the next 3-10 years at least. It’s a bargain investment: $19 for a bottle of wine that already offers much of what good Chablis does, and over time will offer even more.

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§ One Response to Muscadet, for now and forever.

  • Tony S. says:

    Okay, so your rhapsodizing at the end of the Press Herald piece is compelling. Maybe I need to revisit Muscadet AGAIN. But I also feel like I’ve been led down this path before (by David Schildknect, most recently) and not found all that much at the end of it.

    What I’m really thinking here, as I read this entry and the one about Vinho Verde, is that there is a place for simplicity and affordability and just letting a wine be what people have come to think it ought to be, in all its humble individuality. There is a place for “little” wines that are evanescent and beautiful in the moment and are then gone. Don’t get me wrong: I totally do NOT want Muscadet to become Yellow Tail. Shudder. I also don’t want the Muscadet vignerons to go out of business because their wines sell for too little. What I DO want is for young people without big salaries who are nonetheless interested in wine to have access to typicity and quality and the enjoyment and learning that come with it. It seems like we should be able to have that and also support winemakers and their families. I am not comfortable with the trend toward lower and lower yields and higher and higher prices for every darn wine in Europe, because I think it sends the wrong message about what wine is all about, because it puts unfair pressure on the folks trying to make VERY GOOD wine (not GREAT wine), and because it basically routes more and more of the wine treasures of the world to the rich and famous (not you, presumably) instead of to the grateful (definitely you).

    So, while $19 for a bottle of quality wine is, indeed, not high, I’m nevertheless mildly horrified by the fact that we’re talking about Muscadet here. Call me prejudiced. Call me closed-minded. Call me a curmudgeon. Tell me I can’t go home again. Guilty as charged. It still bugs me. From Elin McCoy’s piece: [http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/muscadet-vignerons-seek-wine-s-next-big-thing-in-loire-rocks-elin-mccoy.html]

    “On a recent tasting trek, though, I discovered just how serious this bargain white is becoming. The Luneaus are among several dozen vignerons busy reinventing it.”

    Serious. Oh boy. I can’t wait.

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