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Muscadet is one of my absolute favorite dry white wines to drink while cooking at home. Éric’s Clos de la Butte is the perfect combination of freshness, crisp acidity, and a lingering finish that is always a mouthwatering experience. Oops, Honey, did we just drain the whole bottle?!?
|Blend:||Melon de Bourgogne|
|Appellation:||Muscadet Côtes de Grand Lieu|
|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|
Éric Chevalier is a rising star in the Nantais of the Loire Valley. For ten years, he sourced fruit for a large négociant in the Touraine. In 2005, he returned to his hometown of Saint-Philbert de Grandlieu and ended up taking over the family domaine, Domaine de l’Aujardière. His father, a talented vigneron well-known as a high-quality source of bulk wine, had stopped working the vineyards and the vines were going to have to be pulled up and replanted or sold. Éric was anything but enthusiastic. Little by little his passion grew, and today he is proud to be the 4th generation to farm the domaine. Éric sustainably farms 25 hectares of vines, producing wines of great character and finesse. He found his future in his family’s past.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171
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