When I was over in the Loire Valley this spring I visited Chateau de la Moriniere in the Muscadet AOC. I was really excited to visit because I had just started hearing rumours about Muscadet creating Cru designations; sort of akin to the system in Beaujolais. I was very curious but couldn't find clear answers online and where better to get real answers than there on the ground? It turned out the growers hadn't really settled on clear rules yet, but Moriniere had already been making a special reserve Muscadet from a very old vine vineyard in one of the zones that will eventually be cr designated: the Vallet vineyard.
I tasted several vintages at the winery and was blown away by the depth and complexity. The wine spends 30 months on the lees in tanks and has a totally different character from normal Muscadet! I loved it's minerality and complex wild flower aromatics, so I negotiated getting 15 cases specially imported for me. As far as I know there are the only 15 cases that came into the country!
Aroma: This Muscadet has one of those aromas that I can smell as I pour the bottle and before I bring it up to my nose. The Muscadet's aroma of tropical fruit, brine, wild flowers, and apricot precede the wine before I can get my nose into it. Once I really seriously smell it the tropical fruit aroma is turned up and more powerful but the rest is still there. I can't help describing it as pretty, lush, and luxurious smelling wine.
I feel like I shouldn't even call this a Muscadet. It's so rich, lush, deep, briney;.....it just doesn't really drink like peoples conception of what a Muscadet is. It's gorgeous and sexy and deep: all words that are never associated with normal garden variety Muscadet. I refer to it as the Cuvee M because it's so unique. At first taste the Cuvee M fills your mouth with a lush texture and a mix of ripe mango, peach, and some citrus. After that initial burst of rich fruit the Cuvee M leans out and has a serious briney salty mid palate that's so reminiscent of that fresh clean salt ocean smell that you get on a cold breeze in with morning fog. Then more of the fruit and a bit of slightly bitter apricot peel come in and linger on and on after you swallow. This is a very serious deep Loire wine with a lot of character and sense of place!
If you want to try this snap it up now because it's almost gone.
This is about $20 at: Lilly Lupine and Fern, the Rosemont Markets in Portland, The Blue Hill Wine Shop, The Bier Cellar, Browne Trading; or you can taste it at Caiola's or Old Vines wine bar.