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Evocative: a rarely used tasting note, maybe, but a fitting one for this wine. Shared with colleagues a few days ago, the Clisson’s expressive wet-stone and saline qualities summoned memories of the seaside and lavish oyster-accompanied aperitifs, while its long palate conjured a comparison to never-ending meals (“because it evolves like a good feast”). For my part, I was brought back to a particularly refreshing moment on vacation in Yosemite last month, when I plunged my feet into the icy-cold waters of the Merced River. A subtly floral nose and textured mouthfeel seal the deal. This is off-the-charts Muscadet.
Michel Brégeon is part renegade, part crusader, and full-blown terroirist, ardently defending the Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine terroir. Thanks to his deep understanding of the land, he plays the game much differently than the region’s caves cooperatives and negociants, who produce en masse and lose the subtlety of the appellation. He worked for his family’s domaine before setting out on his own in 1975. When his father retired in 1989, he gave his remaining vineyard land to Michel. Today, Michel farms seven hectares of vineyards in clay, silica, and gabbro soils. Gabbro is old, blue-green, volcanic rock, rarely found in vineyard land. Formed by magma eruptions under the ocean floor, it imparts intense complexity to Michel’s wines.
Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.
Inspiring Thirst, page 312
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