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2020 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clisson “La Molette”

Domaine Michel Brégeon
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Fred Lailler’s Clisson is front-loaded with flavor. The 2020 vintage was pretty toasty by Loire standards, with grapes easily reaching full ripeness. Additionally, this vineyard, situated on a sandy granite terroir instead of the region’s usual gabbro and gneiss, gives a rounder expression of the Melon grape. While there is a lot of fruit here, it’s a cool sort of fruit, more apples and pears than the tropical flavors we associate with ripeness in white wines. And it is refreshing, as you’d expect a Muscadet to be. The crisp finish always has you reaching for the next glass.

Dustin Soiseth

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Melon de Bourgogne
Appellation: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: André-Michel Brégeon
Winemaker: Fred Lailler
Vineyard: 50 years average, 7.8 ha total
Soil: Granite
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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Terroirs

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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