Muscadet Monday


Finally, I am back in form to write and taste. Relief. This week we dive into a serious bottle of Muscadet from Claude Branger. Several weeks ago I blogged on their entry level cuvee, the 2006 Muscadet de Sevre et Maine “Le fils de Gras Mouton”(Vintage 59 Imports)

While the wine above is a delicious example of a mineral laden, crispy vin de soif(thirst quencher), the 2004 Claude Branger Muscadet de Sevre et Maine “Terroir Les Gras Moutons screams like a true vin de garde(wine for aging). The “Terroir Les Gras” bottling is the top tier wine of the estate and rightly so. The grapes come from a 10 acre parcel in St. Fiacre, the smallest commune in the Sevre et Maine and noted for its unique terroir; and in some cases some very age worthy wines. The vines age in range from 40-70 years, yields are kept low,harvested by hand, fermented with natural yeasts, and age sur lie for about 12-14 months. This year alone, I have had the opportunity to taste the 2002,2004,2005, and 2006 and without question the 2004 has spoken more clearly than the rest. The 2002 was still young, but in a reticent, rebellious stage. 2005 and 2006 were baby monsters and I would recommend tucking them away and re-visiting in three or four years(in the meantime drink the entry level “Le Fils” while you are waiting for the others to shine). The 2004 is showing a beautiful, golden/yellow hue and worth a good look before imbibing. Don’t forget the power color can have on the wine drinking experience. The nose is demur upon opening, but after a good hour decant, it was singing notes of pine,herbs, and wet rocks. Shockingly, there is a wonderful tension on the palate between richness and powerful delineation which compelled, and left us all shaking our heads in disbelief and high praise. Truly, I have never tasted a Muscadet with such a graceful, marrowy soft texture–something of a legend, this wine.

Jaime Brockway Warning: Dream Big.