Wednesday, May 10, 2023

You don't need a Sat Nav to find good wine around Nantes. Go direct for this Muscadet Sur Lie

You don't need a Sat Nav to find good wine around Nantes. Go direct for this Muscadet Sur Lie

Günther Chéreau Confluentia Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie (AP) 2021, 12% ABV 

RRP €21.99 World Wide Wines

Back in the day, around 1980, on family holidays in Brittany, I would wander into a supermarket and check out the wine. For seven or eight francs, the equivalent of our pound, I could buy a bottle of Muscadet, for a franc or two less, a bottle of Gros Plant, each from the bottom shelves. Very happy then with the price (compared to back home) and happy too with the quality (of which I knew very little).

Didn’t know anything about Sur Lie either, the two little words that appear on some Muscadet bottles and are a likely indicator of extra quality. Confluentia has them on the front label. Liberty Wines, the importers, explain: Château du Coing’s Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie is fermented with indigenous yeasts and spends the winter on its lees. The bottling of ‘Sur Lie’ wines cannot legally start until after the first Thursday in the March following the vintage. ‘Confluentia’ comes from a single south-facing parcel located exactly at the confluence of the rivers. It spends 10 months on lees and impresses for its distinctive textured, fragrant style.

Colour of our wine is a light gold with a myriad of micro bubbles clinging to the walls of the glass. It is delicately fragrant, citrus and floral. On the palate it is textured, is fresh, elegant and well balanced, with flavours to match the aromas. And quite decent length in the finish.

We are lucky to have it here in our glasses. It wasn’t the best of years in the area round Nantes where the fruit is grown.The spring frost resulted in a large part of the crop being lost.

The Loire

Goes well with seafood along with fish from the sea and rivers, some cheeses, or as an aperitif. Best served at around 12°C degrees.

St Fiacre had a monastery in County Kilkenny and later in France. Among other things, he is the patron saint of gardeners, wine growers included perhaps. The area around Château du Coing in the village of Saint Fiacre is surrounded by vines, most of them bearing the Melon de Bourgogne, the grape from which Muscadet is produced.

Back in those days, we had no Sat-Navs nor Google Maps and there is many a Cork driver who got lost in Nantes as he or she, fresh off the ferry at Roscoff, headed south. It happened to me one Sunday morning. Eventually I came out of the city and found myself in the vines, probably quite close to St Fiacre! Luckily, we spotted a sign for a town to the south that we knew was on the proper route and soon we were back on track.

Very Highly Recommended.

  • Gros Plant, the other grape of the area, is sharply acidic, very tangy and sour. Only the natives love it and the wine is not exported.

No comments: