Domaine Nicolas Réau Anjou Rouge Cuvée Pompois 2009

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Domaine Nicolas Réau Anjou Rouge Cuvée Pompois 2009

Domaine Nicolas Réau Anjou Rouge Cuvée Pompois 2009

Today is Cabernet Day, better known as #CabernetDay.  I was torn between participating as I did for Carignan Day in February and Malbec World Day back in April or ignoring it, as I did for Chardonnay Day.  While Cabernet Sauvignon is a fine grape, made into some excellent wine the world over, it doesn’t need any help from me to raise awareness of it.  And so participating according to the letter of the day, while showing complete disregard for the intentions of the organizers, I give you a Cabernet, Cabernet Franc that is, the Domaine Nicolas Réau Anjou Rouge Cuvée Pompois 2009.

Really I have nothing against Cabernet Sauvignon – I respect it as the cornerstone of many great wines, including the Ridge Monte Bello I had for my birthday this past year.  I’ve covered a dozen wines so far in which it was a component, most either as the largest portion of a blend or as a varietal.  But just as I hate it when someone says “Pinot” without specifying Noir, Gris, Blanc or Meunier, people who say Cabernet without specifying Sauvignon or Franc need some reminding that there’s more than one.

I’ve written about the variety before, in particular when I covered another wine of Anjou, the Château Pierre-Bise Sur Schistes.  To quickly recap though, Cabernet Franc is a classic French grape, a traditional component of the red Bordeaux blend and the main red grape of much of the Loire Valley.  Relative to its Bordeaux blending partners, it ripens early, is somewhat light in colour, tannins and body, but can bring fruit to the blend as well as a bit of leaf and stem flavour.

Anjou as well deserves a quick word – a region in the Loire, grouped together with Saumur, it’s in the western end of the valley with Nantais between it and the sea.  The area produces red, white and rosé wines, still and sparkling, which range from dry to very sweet.  If they distilled spirits and perhaps made fortified wines, they would have everything covered.  The climate is continental, though with some influences from the sea and winds down the river valley.  The main soil type is schist, though there are areas of chalk as well.

Nicolas Réau is a native of Anjou, but not from a wine background.  Described as a rugby player and a jazz and blues pianist, he was in his thirties and finishing some commercial studied when he decided he’s rather move into growing grapes and making wine.  He bought a clos in Anjou of a dozen acres and started his new career not long after the millenium.  He also produces wine off property in Chinon, and his range consists of two other varietal Cabernet Francs and a barrel fermented Chenin Blanc.  Vines are grown organically, though apparently not certified as such.  Harvesting is done by hand into baskets, fermentations are not inoculated so wild yeasts do all the work, there is no filtering or fining of the wines, and apparently no sulphites are added to those that occur naturally.

I hate to say this, but the wines of Nicolas Réau are described as “natural”.  Long time readers of this blog will perhaps remember that I expressed my thoughts on “natural” wine some months ago when I looked at a Pinot Noir from Lucy Margaux.  If you don’t follow the link, suffice it to say that I think that using the term “natural” to describe wine is dishonest.

First off, there’s no strict definition, such that any producer, even the most massively industrial, can call their wine natural.  Second, calling your wine natural implies that people who don’t use that term are making wine which is unnatural.  Finally, compare a naturally growing plot of virgin forest with any vineyard in the world and then try to tell me the vineyard is natural, with its evenly spaced, identical clones.

That said, I can gripe all day about what people say or write about their wine and what they put on the label or in the marketing materials, but what actually matters to me is what’s in the glass.  And if you made it all the way through what I had to write about the Lucy Margaux, I liked that wine.  I think it is dishonest to use the term natural to describe wine, but that influences what I think of the producer, not what I think of the wine itself.

So in the glass this wine is clear and bright, and has a deep purple colour with quick, thick, pale purple legs.  On the nose it’s clean, with medium intensity, a developing character and notes of black fruit, stalks, and sweet spice.  On the palate it’s dry, with medium plus acid, medium body, medium alcohol, medium plus intensity, and medium green tannins.  It has notes of tart cherry, some cranberry, some greenness, a hint of chocolate, and some Red Vines® ( a red liquorice candy).  It has a medium plus length and a black liquorice finish.

This is a very good wine, natural or whatever.  It’s a bit tight – it comes across as almost concentrated and needs time to open up, be it a few hours exposed to air or if you’re more patient perhaps a few more years in the cellar.  The colour is much richer than I would have expected from a varietal Cabernet Franc, but the flavour profile certainly has typicity, and does not lack complexity.

And while the rough theme for this week had been inexpensive but potentially interesting wines from a large wine retailer, this wine was purchased from one of my regular suppliers at a price well within my normal range (not too expensive, not too cheap).

Domaine Roger Champault Sancerre Le Clos du Roy 2008

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Domaine Roger Champault Sancerre Le Clos du Roy 2008

Domaine Roger Champault Sancerre Le Clos du Roy 2008

Learning about wine has been (and continues to be) an interesting journey.  I think I developed my initial tastes in wine based on what people I knew were drinking, so I can remember exactly who introduced me to oaky, buttery California Chardonnay, white Burgundy, and Sancerre.  (All women I fancied, funnily enough.)  It would be years later that I came to understand anything about those respective wine, such that white Burgundy is also Chardonnay.  I remember a real revelation though when I encountered a bottle of red wine that had Sancerre on the label, and my mind was opened up to the fact it’s a region, not a grape.  And with that memory in mind, today it’s a bottle of the more familiar colour from there, the Domaine Roger Champault Sancerre Le Clos du Roy 2008.

So yes, Sancerre is a region.  I have personally verified that with a visit last July, and it’s well worth the trip.  At the far eastern end of the Loire Valley, it’s arguably the best known of its subregions.  The region stretches out to the north, west and south around the walled town of Sancerre itself, which sits atop a hill overlooking the surrounding area.  To the east is the river, and across it is Pouilly-Fumé.  The climate is continental, though slightly mitigated by the river, and the hillsides can provide favourable aspects.  The soils are generally grouped into three classifications – the vineyard to the west are situated on clays and limestone, those near the town are on flinty soils, and in between is gravel and limestone.

As I alluded to earlier, Sancerre as a region produces more than just white wine – it covers the spectrum with reds and rosés as well.  White wines, which constitute the vast majority of production, are varietal Sauvignon Blanc, while reds and rosés are made from Pinot Noir.

Most of my experience with Sancerre (in terms of drinking it) is in the context of eating shellfish.  For me, there is something about facing a heap of crustaceans and bivalves atop a pile of crushed ice that makes me thirst for white Sancerre.  This is strange for a few reasons.  First, while many of the white wines from Sancerre have a flinty, minerally character that goes very well with the aforementioned heap of tastiness, some of the Sauvignon Blancs of Sancerre see oak treatment, which makes the pairing less obvious.  Second, of all of the regions in the Loire, Sancerre is nearly the most distant from the sea, meaning any salt-water shellfish would be on a truck for hours before making it to a plate in Sancerre.  And finally, the only time I actually had a picture postcard plateau de fruits de mer in France was in Nantes at La Cigale, at the opposite end of the Loire Valley and of course when in Nantes, one drinks Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine.  (It was a wonderful meal, complete with a table full of locals who were happy to act as grandparents to my then eight month old daughter while my wife and I ate.)

I have in fact written up a Sauvignon Blanc recently, the Astrolabe, and I did talk a bit about the variety so I won’t repeat myself so quickly.  However, as varietal Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough and Sancerre are often held up as examples of how a grape can be very different depending on the terroir and the treatment, it’s worth having a quick compare and contrast, though in general terms, not of these wines specifically.  For white wines of Sancerre, Jancis Robinson uses terms like racy, pungent, delicate, and perfumed.  While not exactly austere, fruit is not the main thrust of the wine.  Rather, people claim to be able to taste the limestone of the soil.  Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, on the other hand, can have much more evident fruit, with gooseberry, grass, bell pepper and cat piss being more common descriptors.  Of course these are very broad strokes, and there are certainly winemakers in Marlborough expressing the terroir through their wines as there are those in France who strive to ride on the success of Marlborough with greater expression of fruit in their wines.

This producer was founded (at least in its current form) by the namesake, Roger Champault, though he was the fifth generation to work in the family business of growing vines and more recently producing wine in the Sancerre region.  Now succeeded by his two sons, Laurent and Claude, who in turn are assisted by three workers, production is based on roughly 20 HAs of their estate.  They produce nine wines – four each whites and reds, with a rosé rounding out the mix.  This wine is made from vines based on limestone soil, and after fermentation spends some time on fine lees.  I can’t tell from research if that time is spent in tank or barrel, but my notes suggest barrel.

In the glass this wine is clear and bright, pale gold with quick legs, with a fully developed character and medium plus intensity.  It started out with a bit of yoghurt on the nose, which opened up into oak and mineral notes. On the palate it has notes of lemon, mineral, and more oak.  It’s dry, with medium plus acid, medium plus flavour intensity, medium body, medium alcohol, medium plus length, and an oak finish.  It has a very nice texture.

This is certainly a good wine in that it’s of good quality and well made, but unfortunately I’m drinking it a bit past it’s prime.  As I was tasting it, if I had to guess the variety I would have started thinking it was Sauvignon Blanc but as it opened up it turned into a Chardonnay.  I’m not sure which I liked more.  While I certainly enjoy wines with a bit of age on them, and I don’t shy away from older whites, I’m fairly certain this was better a year or two ago and I wish I had been able to enjoy it then.  So a bit of a shame to be drinking it when I was, but I wouldn’t hesitate to try a younger version in the future.

Kilikanoon Brut Vouvray 2009

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Kilikanoon Brut Vouvray 2009

Kilikanoon Brut Vouvray 2009

The past few weeks have been pretty heavy on Australian wine, but I’m moving back to France with this post, covering the classic Loire appellation of Vouvray.  The thing is, it’s been invaded by Australians.  I put before you the Kilikanoon Brut Vouvray 2009.

This is yet another wine I picked up at the Adelaide Cellar Door Festival, and I must admit that when I saw it a stand selling Vouvray, I initially assumed that it must be someone playing a bit fast and loose with protected geographical names, as was once very common in Australia.  However, there are a good number of Australian producers who go overseas to make wine and then bring it back under their Australian label, with the Primo Estate of McLaren Vale’s Primo & Co line of Italian-made wines and Burgundian wines made by Marchand & Burch of Western Australia springing to mind.  And as it turns out, Kilikanoon of the Clare Valley do the same thing.

Vouvray is a region and a wine, the region being in the Loire to the east of Tours on the north side of the river, and the wine being made from Chenin Blanc.  The two are closely tied, more so even than say Burgundy where to know the grape you need ask red or white (and even then if you’re picky there are grapes other than Pinot Noir and Charodnnay).  While you can grow Arbois within AOC Vouvary, and there are other things grown outside the strict appellation system, if someone offers you a glass of Vouvray, you can expect it to be Chenin Blanc.  However, that’s as far as it goes.  Within the region, Chenin Blanc is used to make a wide range of styles, dry to sweet, still and sparkling, high quality and other.  But first, the particulars of the region.

Vouvray is within the broader Touraine region, which has a range of climatic influences, with Vouvray at the meeting point of cool continental and Atlantic-influenced maritime.  The soils are largely clay and gravel on the surface, though not far below is tuffeau, a soft rock which contains miles of tunnels used by winemakers for their cellars.  Tuffeau ranges from blanc which is calcareous with good drainage to jaune which is more sandy.

Vouvray is one of the regions in the world where the vintage determines the wine style.  In austere vintages, the grapes can go into sparkling wine, or dry styles.  With more ripeness, demi-sec, or off dry styles prevail.  With the appropriate conditions into the autumn, very high quality sweet wine cane be made, with multiple passes of hand picking.

And while Chenin Blanc may have found a second home in South Africa, and has been known to spend time in California and Australia, it is most often associated with the Loire, and Vouvray in particular.  Locally, it’s sometimes known as Pineau de la Loire.  It buds early and ripens late, which can make for some difficult vintages in the Loire.  It’s also rates very highly on the acid scale, even in warmer climates.  While these qualities make for some level of challenge in Vourvay, which they meet with a variety of winemaking styles for each vintage, in the New World Chenin Blanc has at times been something of a sure bet, capable of retaining high levels of acidity even when over cropped, and always ripening.  That said, there are some excellent New World Chenin Blancs, such as Ken Forrester’s The FMC from Stellenbosch and Coriole’s Optimist from McLaren Vale, both of which have similar ageing potential to high quality Vouvray.

Speaking of New World producers, Kilikanoon is certainly worth a mention, not least of all because this is their wine.  It’s a young company, founded by winemaker Kevin Mitchell in 1997, named for the property on which the brand was founded in the Clare Valley.  Over the past 15 years, the company has grown through buying up estate-owned vineyards and establishing a portfolio of over a dozen properties throughout South Australia.  Wines include Riesling, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache out of Clare Valley, Shiraz, Grenache, Chardonnay and Semillon out of the Barossa Valley, Shiraz and Riesling out of Eden Valley, and Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc out of McLaren Vale.

Not content with making wine in Australia, Kilikanoon has this partnership with Maison Greffe of Cave des Producteurs in Vouvray, as well as Cave de Tain in the northern Rhône where they have been producing Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage since 2007.

This wine gave a big splash of bubbles when poured, but settled down to a fine bead that lasted through the entire glass.  It’s pale lemon in colour with some green highlights.  The nose is fairly robust, with green apple and lemon, as well as some pear.  The palate is dry, with nice mousse and zesty acidity.  The tastes match the aromas, with more green apple, lemon and pear.  Slightly short length with a pastry finish – not light patisserie, but more like pie crust, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.

I enjoyed this wine, though while they fruit is certainly apparent, particularly the green apple, it is certainly not sweet – almost austere, except for the pastry finish.  I think it has more to give with some time in cellar, and so I look forward to giving an older incarnation a try.  Length and complexity weren’t as generous as I might like, but it certainly made up for it by being crisp and clean.

While I will generally put a company headquarters on the map even if I know the vineyard is miles away or even on the other side of the country, I’m making an exception with this wine and putting the pin in the town of Vouvray instead of at the Kilikanoon home base in the Clare Valley.  I can live with a pin being in the wrong part of the country from where the wine actually originates, but I can’t live with it being in the wrong country.

Château Pierre-Bise Anjou Villages Sur Schistes 2009

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Château Pierre-Bise Anjou Villages Sur Schistes 2009

Château Pierre-Bise Anjou Villages Sur Schistes 2009

I’ve had my notes for this wine sitting around for a few weeks, and I wasn’t sure I was going to find the time to write up an actual post because I’ve been a bit busy with this or that.  However, I’ve been inspired to finally put this up because of an article today in the New York Times about a dispute in the Loire Valley that mentions this producer.

The wine is Château Pierre-Bise Anjou Villages Sur Schistes 2009.  Working from general to specific, this is French, from the Loire Valley, and in particular the Appellation Anjou Villages contrôlée.  That AOC is exclusively for red wines, made up of 46 communes, and makes light to medium-bodied wines from Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon.

But first context, starting with why I write what I write.  I’m pretty ombibulous with regard to what wine I enjoy, and so looking my notes could be a Drunkard’s Walk through the cellar of a wine merchant.  However, I am influenced by a number of outside inputs, and the New York Times is one of them.  They have an excellent wine writer, Eric Asimov, and often I run out to grab a bottle after having read one of his articles, such as was the case recently with his article on Douro reds which prompted me to write about the Niepoort Douro Vertente 2006.  I try to keep up with the industry whenever I can, but there are so many people writing so much, that it’s quite the task.

So the article in question is broadly about the Loire Valley trying to implement a ranking system for their vast collection of vineyards.  Within many some other French wine regions, there are various official methods of determining the quality level of vineyards and wines made from their grapes, in particular in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and to a lesser respect Alsace.  Within the Loire however, all vineyards are considered equal.  In particular this article is about a small appellation called Quarts-de-Chaume which produces a sweet wine, and how the introduction of a ranking system, and along with it some regulations as to how grapes are grown and processed, will impact some producers which is causing them to oppose it.  My summary does not do it justice, so please have a look for yourself if such things are of interest.

How this article about a sweet wine appellation has brought me to write about a dry red wine is Claude Papin.  He is the producer of this Anjou Villages, but also produces a Quarts-de-Chaume (among others) and is the head of their local vignerons’ association.  As such, he is closely involved in the dispute, and is quoted in the article.  Seeing a news article that relates to the producers of a wine I recently tried was enough to get me moving on this post.

So, Anjou as I mentioned is within the Loire Valley in France.  If the Loire Valley, going from the west to the east, is divided into four sub-regions, they would be Nantais (home of Muscadet), Anjou and Saumur, Touraine, and finally the Central Vineyards (central France that is, but the easternmost Loire Valley).  Anjou itself is the area around the city of Angers, and the region as a whole produces red, white and rosé wines, still and sparkling, which range from dry to very sweet.  Grapes commonly associated with Anjou are Chenin Blanc, Grolleau, and Cabernet Franc, though Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Pineau d’Aunis (Chenin Noir) can also be found.  Anjou-Villages AOC is one of many appellations in the region, and the AOC rules only allow Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and they’re commonly found blended together as is the case with this wine.  The climate is continental, though they are not so far from the coast as to avoid maritime influences.  The main soil type for grape growing is based on schist, a metamorphic rock, from which this wine takes its name.

Anjou Crest

Anjou Crest

Another Anjou fact – if your wine is from Anjou, you can emboss your bottles with the region’s crest.  As a fan of regionally-embossed bottles, I approve.

Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are such familiar grapes (found in four other wines each that I’ve covered so far) that they hardly need to be described.  However, this is the first instance where Cabernet Franc is the dominant player in a blend (and the first time Cabernet Sauvignon provides only a supporting role) so it may be worth describing them a bit in this context.

Cabernet Franc is one of the classic Bordeaux red grapes, and as my previous tastings can attest, it often plays only a supporting role to Cabernet Sauvignon.  It buds and matures earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon, and is less vulnerable to poor conditions at harvest.  It produces a lighter wine in terms of colour and tannins, and generally matures earlier.  It’s also lighter in body, with more fruit than Cabernet Sauvignon, and often a green note that I associate not so much with under-ripeness but rather with stems or leaves.  What Cabernet Franc gets in this blend from Cabernet Sauvignon is structure, as well as colour and tannins.  It brings a bit of backbone to the blend, though without dominating the lighter fruit notes of the Cabernet Franc.

Finally, Château Pierre-Bise, bringing me finally back to what prompted me to write this.  The name means stone and wind, and refers to the château (or castle) itself, which is on a ridge overlooking the Layon (both the town and the river), roughly 17km south by southwest of Angers.  The château and some nearby vines were bought in 1959 by Pierre Papin, who passed them on to his son Claude Papin who has expanded the holdings significantly with different parcels across different nearby appellations.  There is a hugely comprehensive article about Château Pierre-Bise and Claude Papin at thewinedoctor.com from which I’ve pulled a few facts.  He holds 60 hectares of vineyards, with 40 being Chenin Blanc and the remaining 20 being largely a mix of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Gamay.  His produces wines that hail from appellations within Anjou, Savennières, Coteaux du Layon, Chaume, and Quarts de Chaume in white and red, dry to sweet.  For more details, please check out thewinedoctor.com.

Finally, this wine in front of me.  Very dark in colour, and on the cusp between garnet and ruby.  The nose doesn’t give up much – there is some perfume and dark red berries, but it’s not particularly intense.  In the mouth, it’s medium bodied, but with vibrant acidity.  Here lies the fruit, with intense tart, sour cherries and blackcurrant.  There’s also fine but very noticeable tannins, though not as green as I would have expected from Cabernet Franc.  Apparently the fermentation is done without pumping over to avoid extraction, which could explain it.  It’s a well balanced wine, though it would likely be better still in a few years.  I should have bought a second bottle to put in the cellar.

Guy Bossard Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Cuvée Classique 2009

Guy Bossard Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine Cuvée Classique 2009

Guy Bossard Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine Cuvée Classique 2009

Tonight’s wine is something unlikely to ever appear as a sample in a blind tasting for the WSET Diploma Unit 3 Exam, but I saw it in a local shop and had to pick it up.  The wine is a Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine Cuvée Classique from Guy Bossard, 2009.  While it is a wine from a region that is covered internationally in wine education, and can in fact be found now and again in bottle shops and on wine lists, it’s a wine worth some description.

So Muscadet is a region, in the west end of the Loire Valley in France where the Loire River runs into the Atlantic Ocean.  Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine is itself a sort of subregion of greater Muscadet, and in particular it is the area where the rivers Sèvre and Maine meet before in turn joining the Loire.  It’s only “sort of” a subregion in that most of the wine from all of greater Muscadet is produced there, and it’s arguably the most interesting and best wine at that.  There are rolling hills of a diverse range of soils, from schist and gneiss to granite and sand.  The climate is maritime, temperate and damp, all due to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

The main (solitary but AOC rules) grape grown is Melon de Bourgogne, which is also known as Muscadet.  Frankly, I think someone decided that wine studies would be too easy if everything made sense, and so we have a grape named after its region of origin (Burgundy) and while it’s not widely grown there, it’s also given the name of its new home. And of course it has to be a new name that’s pretty close to other, existing grape names, such as Muscadelle, the third white grape of Bordeaux, as well as Muscat which comes in a variety of colours and which picks up new named wherever it goes.  Some grapes are relatively sensible – Pinot comes in Blanc, Gris and Noir, as does Grenache.  Musca-whatever is just a bit annoying, particularly as I think they’re not related to one another in the slightest.

But getting back to Melon de Bourgogne, or Muscadet, it’s a white grape, and often smells/tastes of green apples, grass, and lemons.  It’s not one of the noble grapes, but that is a blog topic all its own.  For now I’ll leave it that it’s best produced and appreciated in its place of most recent origin, Muscadet.

As far as winemaking goes, I only tend to comment on it when a region does something special, and for Muscadet that would be sur lie ageing.  When you ferment grape juice into wine, yeast essentially consume sugars and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.  So what starts out as water and sugar turns into water and alcohol with gas released (oh and heat generated).  Fermentation can stop for lots of reasons, but two main reasons are that the yeast runs out of food (all sugar is gone, and therefore the wine is dry) or there is too much alcohol for the yeast to survive.  (I often describe alcohol as “yeast poo” when explaining fermentation and alcohol levels.)  Either way, typically when your ferment is done, you have dead yeast.  In the business, dead yeast cells are known as lees.

Usually, once the yeast is dead, you go through a procedure known as racking, which essentially removed wine from other things, in this case lees.  More generally, wine as it is being made is a messy substance, but if you let it sit for a while, some of the more messy elements tend to fall to the bottom of the container.  When you rack wine, you essentially drain as much of the more clear bit out of the container, leaving the gunk at the bottom.

However, the lees can add a character to the wine that is desirable under the right circumstances.  Champagne (and many other sparking wines) will undergo a second fermentation in the bottle, and will be aged with the lees from that fermentation (for a minimum of 18 months in the case of Champagne).  Ageing wine in the presence of lees can add body and creaminess, and people who would like to impress you will refer to it as autolytic character.  It can allow for greater ageing potential once bottled.

So just to pull together the last few paragraphs, with Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine it is often left to age on lees after fermentation.  What I didn’t explicitly mention is that that the term “sur lie” actually means.  This is unusual in that most wine is racked off lees sometime relatively soon after fermentation, but if you leave your wine in contact with lees it can give it some autolytic characters which can be desirable depending on the type of wine you’re making.

Having written all that, there may be something funny going on with this wine.  It does not use the term “sur lie” on the label.  A site which sells the wine mentions in its description that it is made in the “sur lie” style but that it cannot say so on the label.  AOC rules are apparently very specific for the use of the term, and so he could be leaving the wine on lees for longer or shorter than the approved time.  I want to say I can taste the lees influence, but I’m not an expert and I have only had other Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie a few times.

In any case, this is a good wine, and an interesting style not so often seen.  The apple flavours were what struck me, as well as the acidity.  It was paired this evening with some grilled swordfish, but I think it would have done better with some chilled shellfish like the last time I had a bottles in Nantes.

Appearance

Clear and bright, medium-minus gold, thin film instead of legs.

Nose

Clean, developing, medium-plus intensity of apples (green and yellow), as well as some sweet spice and a hint of nuttiness. Slight autolytic character.

Palate

Dry, high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, medium-plus flavour intensity, with notes of apple, sour citrus, some nail varnish, and stony minerality.  Sour finish, with medium length.

Conclusions

This is a good quality wine – crisp with minerality and strong tart flavours, but also with creaminess and body.  The balance is slightly on the sour end of the spectrum, and the intensity of flavour is supported with high acidity, but that leaves the body and alcohol behind.  A longer length and milder sour notes might have pushed this up to a very good.  I think at two years old, this wine has potential for ageing, perhaps to improve over the next three years.