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2015 Muscadet Côtes de Grand Lieu sur lie “Le Clos de la Butte”

Éric Chevalier

2015 Muscadet Côtes de Grand Lieu sur lie “Le Clos de la Butte” Éric Chevalier - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
While mass-produced Muscadet may be the definition of sour, insipid white wine, a properly farmed and competently vinified rendition like Éric Chevalier’s is a different creature. Loaded with character, these wines deliver a unique kind of pleasure, oozing the essence of briny Atlantic winds that constantly batter the western Loire. Éric is relatively new to winemaking, having released his first vintage from the family domaine just ten years ago, but his ambition and innate sense of taste have already made him a star in the region. Always seeking more depth in his wines and a purer expression of his terroir, Éric has ceased using herbicides and instead plows his soils—a physically and economically demanding choice, justified by delicious bottles like this broad, saline 2015 Muscadet. The Clos de la Butte is a parcel of fifty-year-old Melon de Bourgogne vines on metamorphic rock, and it offers all the refreshment and value great Muscadet should provide. —Anthony Lynch
$16.00
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Melon de Bourgogne
Appellation: Muscadet Côtes de Grand Lieu
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Éric Chevalier
Winemaker: Éric Chevalier
Vineyard: 50 years; 6 ha
Soil: Serpentinite, eclogite, quartz
Aging: Wine stays in foudre for fermentation and élevage, then raised 10-12 months depending on the vintage
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 11.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

More from Loire or France

2016 Savennières

Château d’Epiré  France  |  Loire  |  Savennières

$23.00

2016 Pinot Gris

Domaine de Reuilly  France  |  Loire  |  Reuilly

$20.00

2013 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Gorges”

Domaine Michel Brégeon  France  |  Loire  |  Muscadet

$40.00

2015 Quincy “Vieilles Vignes”

Domaine Trotereau  France  |  Loire  |  Quincy

$25.00

2016 Coteaux du Loir Blanc

Pascal Janvier  France  |  Loire  |  Coteaux du Loir

$19.00

2015 Chinon

Bernard Baudry  France  |  Loire  |  Chinon

$25.00

2016 Sancerre “Côte des Embouffants”

Domaine Roger Neveu  France  |  Loire  |  Sancerre

$25.00

2014 Clisson “La Molette”

Domaine Michel Brégeon  France  |  Loire  |  Muscadet

$38.00

2015 Bourgeuil “Cuvée Beauvais”

Domaine de la Chanteleuserie  France  |  Loire  |  Bourgueil

$20.00

2015 Vouvray “La Moelleuse”

Champalou  France  |  Loire  |  Vouvray

$45.00

2014 Chinon “Les Petites Roches”

Charles Joguet  France  |  Loire  |  Chinon

$23.00

2011 Muscadet Réserve

Domaine Michel Brégeon  France  |  Loire  |  Musacadet

$35.00

Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.

Inspiring Thirst, page 236

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