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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Muscadet: the princess of Loire Valley

      Maybe you know Muscat, one of the best sweet varietals around the world. Maybe you know Muscadelle a common Bordeaux white varietal. But how about Muscadet, it sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Have you ever tasted this light white wine from West Loire Valley? Today we will introduce this beautiful wine region: Muscadet.



    Muscadet is located around the biggest city in the northwest of France, it is separated by 4 different appellations, one is at the upper side of Loire Valley, the others are at the under side. There is 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) of vineyard but only one grape variety: Melon de Bourgogne.


      As its name suggests, this grape variety is come from Burgundy, it almost disappeared there after the phylloxera crisis. However, it regained a new life in the region of Pays de la Loire. Because Melon de Bourgogne can easily adapt to the maritime climate of this region, and resist to the frost in winter and early spring time.

Soil:


    In Muscadet, there are three major soils: Granit – Micaschiste – Gneiss. These soils have a good ability of drainage, especially in the humid maritime climate region.

Sur lie:



      Melon de Bourgogne is a relatively neutral and simple varietal, in order to get more flavors and complexity, winemakers in Muscadet use a technique called “sur lie”. Generally speaking, the white wine is aging in the oak with in the dead yeast cells which is left after fermentation.


Food Matching:
Muscadet matches very well with light sea food, like:

Fresh oyster


Spaghetti with Clams and Crispy Bread Crumbs


Swordfish with rice


Rounded Sardine with Conch