Muscadet Sevres et Maine From
Chateau La Touche
By Cynthia Hurley

That's right. You can probably have two bottles of Muscadet for the price of one bottle of that Chardonnay you've been drinking. Believe me, I'm never one to choose quantity over quality, but that's the beautiful thing about Chateau La Touche Muscadet, it is a stunning, crisp mouthful of grapefruit, passion fruit, flowers, and minerals. Don't ignore it just because it doesn't break the bank. Is there something better for summer? I doubt it.

Not long ago a bunch of Loire growers came to Boston with their wines. It was good timing because I needed a second Muscadet. I went around the room at least twice tasting and tasting and tasting again. I loved that Chateau La Touche on every pass. The key thing I looked for was some mineralty and lively acidity. Chateau La Touche passed the test and it sailed in on my next container. I think you should try it.

The Muscadet vineyards are at the western edge of the Loire Valley close to the Atlantic Ocean. Muscadet comes from the Melon de Bourgogne grape (often called Muscadet). It is a cousin of Gamay which is used to make Beaujolais. Muscadet has nothing to do with Muscat or Muscadelle.

The best Muscadet comes from the area called Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine. There are four cantons (communes) that can put Sevre-et-Maine on their labels and this is always something to look for.

The best Muscadet also has "sur lie" on the label. This means that the wine has been kept on its lees (mostly dead yeast and skins) throughout the winter after the harvest, before bottling. The thinking is that wine allowed to mingle with its lees will pick up extra richness from the lees, but also by leaving the wine in the same fermentation tank with the lees, the carbon dioxide released during the fermentation will give the wine some nerviness and crispness. Sur lie Muscadet is not fined or filtered.

Do you want to know another great thing about Muscadet? It's low in alcohol. That means you can drink more of it which is what usually happens with this Muscadet. Cynthia Hurley


Chateau La Touche Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2006

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