92 Insider Points

REVIEWS

The 2017 Muscadet Sevre Et Maine from Claude Branger shows the classic style of coastal Loire, with bright lemon/lime acidity, a chalky minerality and crunchy tree fruit blending on the crisp and clean palate.  A perfect pairing for seafood, this tasty white is your new go to glass.  Enjoy now through 2020. -Premier Sommelier Team

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Muscadet
  • APPELLATION
    Loire Valley, France
  • ALCOHOL
    12.00%
  • SIZE
    750ml

Seriously super whites are coming out of Loire Valley’s 2017 vintage and this Muscadet ("muss-kuh-day) sits among the exceptional of the exceptionals. It’s dry, it’s fresh, it’s delicious, and for many it’s quite a surprise.

Even as the label’s entry-level Muscadet, it bursts with incredible value and shows its superior quality at the hand of detailed, sustainable and hand-harvested vineyards. The New York Times showed its approval for Muscadet proclaiming, “Great Muscadet can be a complex treat...can age exceptionally well over decades, evolving in complex and distinctive ways. It’s a rare wine that is beautiful at each stage.”

Reasons why we love it:

  • Flavor upon flavor. Our Sourcing Team understands that with all of the bulk lacklustre Muscadets out there, it can be hard to find and experience an ideal expression of the varietal. Plus, for so many of us that have mixed up Muscadet and Muscat, here’s a little info: Muscadet is actually made of the grape variety Melon de Bourgogne that at its best is crisp and citrusy with subtle apple, hints of pepper and underlying minerality. Finding a producer who makes the varietal shine is key, and all of the best have some very strict winemaking processes in common. Bringing out as much flavor as possible means hand-harvesting (which believe it or not is a rarity in this region) and the wines are left sur lie for an extended period of time. As with this 2017 Branger, you will find depth, texture and complexity as the result.
  • Striving for Organic. The Domain not only pursues low yields of the best quality, but is composed of a very small team dedicated to sustainable farming with their first parcels receiving Organic certification in 2016. Full certification is expected by the 2019 vintage.
  • Cast from Burgundy.  For all of you unfamiliar with Melon de Bourgogne, the white grape now finds its home in the western Loire Valley where it was invited into the region in 1709 at the same time Burgundy was saying its goodbyes to the variety. Loire growers saw it as the cold-resistant answer to the recent winter catastrophe that killed many of their vines. It may have taken centuries for Muscadet to really come around as a quality product, but now that we’ve discovered its delightful and delicious side we’re hooked!
TASTING NOTES 

Beautiful, crisp, mouthwatering acidity and great value. Tart citrus, orange blossom floral notes, Granny Smith apple. Pair with light seafood dishes, summer salads, lightly seasoned poultry dishes. Medium-bodied, no perceptible oak. Summer sipper, dry, patio wine. Crowd pleasing guaranteed.

THE STORY TO KNOW

Claude Branger of Domaine la Haute Févrie certainly fits into the 'famous and long-associated' category. A quietly-spoken vigneron, his domaine is not huge and his profile much lower than some of the names closer to the top of this page, but his wines are of no lesser interest to me. He has 10.2 hectares of vines centred around Maisdon-sur-Sèvre, right at the heart of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation, and a stone's throw from Clisson, Gorges, Saint-Fiacre and La Haye-Fouassière. With his son Sébastien the domaine is run along the lines of sustainable viticulture, following the guiding words of Terra Vitis. This might be a less rigorous approach than some others in the region, but it does not to my mind invalidate the wines. Harvest is by hand, and the portfolio manageable (certainly more so than some others, such as that of Marc Ollivier, who seems to be adding several new cuvées every year at the moment).

PERFECT PAIRINGS

We suggest pairing this lovely wine with fresh oysters or Thai Chicken in mild peanut sauce, basmati rice and peas.This wine also pairs well with steamed mussels and frites, oysters pot pie, seafood medley on creamy, spinach fettuccini noodles.