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2018 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Gorges”

Domaine Michel Brégeon
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Muscadet is also generally considered an oyster wine, but this cuvée is Fred Lailler’s masterpiece that transcends any pigeonholing that sometimes happens with these whites from the western Loire. Named for one of the region’s most prized crus that sits atop a very special soil called gabbro, Gorges boasts an incredible texture and tension imparted by this decomposed, blue-green igneous rock, seventy-year-old vines, and years-long aging on the lees. Moules marinières or any kind of seafood pasta are matches made in heaven.

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2018
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Melon de Bourgogne
Appellation: Muscadet
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: André-Michel Brégeon
Winemaker: Fred Lailler
Vineyard: 50 years average, 7.8 ha total
Soil: Gabbro
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 12%

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About The Region

Loire

map of 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.

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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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