Friday, February 17, 2012

An Aged Muscadet Delivers

As far as zesty white wines that can complement salads and seafood, muscadet is classic. In their youth, these Loire Valley wines show sharp acid and sometimes bracing minerality, along with lemon-lime and sea salt flavors. They can be very creamy as well, especially when the wine is aged on the yeasts for a while longer, and labeled as “sur lie.” Muscadets can be brisk enough to stand up to the most saline-driven oysters. While most are consumed young, aging muscadet can add a whole different level of richness and complexity.

Tonight I’m sipping just such a wine. It is the 2001 Domaine du Haut Bourg Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu.

This wine is soft golden color, looking bright and shiny in the glass. This 11-year-old muscadet shows mature aromas of nougat and honey, but also brisk minerals and fresh citrus fruit. The wines starts off with a dose of rich apple cider, then the acid comes through and provides freshness. The lively mineral flavor blends with subtle flavors of bruised apple and apricot. There’s a hint of clover honey and seashell. This wine is still vibrant, but has gained richness with age. I’m always amazed at how aged muscadet gets plump and complex but maintains its zesty acidity. This is a delicious wine that begs for lobster with lemon butter.

89 points - IJB

Not bad for $15.

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