VINCENT CAILLÉ, Loire Valley
2016 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine ‘Fief Seigneur’ (certified biodynamic)
$24.99 (12 btls/cs)
If you don’t already know about Muscadet, it’s a secret you’ll want in on. This sassy French white is light bodied, crisp, and known for its citrus and baked bread character. It’s a perfect oyster wine and is similar to Chablis, though dramatically less expensive. Muscadet is the name of the appellation located in the Nantais region at the westernmost part of the Loire Valley (with Sancerre at the opposite end and Vouvray in between). The grape exclusively used in Muscadet, called Melon de Bourgogne, is fairly neutral with high acidity. Most bottles that you’ll encounter say ‘Sur Lie’ on the label, meaning that it’s been aged on the lees (hence the bread notes!). The requirement for this designation is that the wine spends all winter on the lees and is bottled in March. Wines are quick to market and are typically uncomplicated, salty, and delicious.
The wines from Caillé are a serious step up from what you’ll find on the shelves. Vincent is the fifth-generation winemaker and has been running things since 1986. He converted the estate’s 25 hectares to organic and biodynamic farming in a region where it’s incredibly challenging to do so — the influence of the nearby Atlantic makes for cool, wet conditions, and Melon is susceptible to mildew. Wild tulips, which once covered the region but were wiped out by pesticides, have sprung up anew from the estate’s recovered soils. Vincent makes three different bottlings of Muscadet from three different soil types. Fief Seigneur is produced from 60-year-old vines grown on Gneiss soil. The wine gets added complexity and depth from extended lees aging, a practice for which Vincent is known. Whereas most Muscadet spends only the winter on its lees, Vincent opts for 14 or 15 months. The result is a richer, textured style.
This is a fuller bodied and more complex style of Muscadet that should not be relegated to summer sipping. The signature aromas of lemon and baked bread are here, along with yellow plum, white flowers and smoky minerality. This has happy hour written all over it, or could handle a few years in the cellar.
To Place Your Order:
Call Michelle Desroches directly at (416) 779 4101 or Via Email: MichelleD@lifford.com
Shipping available for Ontario residents only (Sorry!)