Domaine de la Morandière 2019 Muscadet Sèvre et Main Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France - DECANTsf

Domaine de la Morandière 2019 Muscadet Sèvre et Main Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France

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Domaine de la Morandière 2019 Muscadet Sèvre et Main Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France

  • Winemaker: Alexandre Derame
  • Farming: Practicing organic
  • Varieties: 100% Melon de Bourgogne
  • Terroir: Gabro soils, a metallic-flecked, pale green and black, hard volcanic stone, mixed with loam and silex. Topsoils of sand and silt. 
  • Vinification: Whole-cluster pressed by pneumatic press, settled overnight and racked off the initial sediments, naturally fermented in stainless steel tanks
  • Aging: On the lees for 12 months, followed by 2 years in bottle. 

From our November 2021 Explorer Club Notes:

La Morandière | Sur Lie | Muscadet Sèvre et Main, Loire Valley, France  |  2019

    The classic variety of Melon de Bourgogne, which most of us refer to simply as Melon B or Muscadet ("muss-kuh-day"), is found in Western France, just to the south and east of Nantes, where the Sèvre and Main tributaries meet the Loire River. Muscadet is not related to Muscat in any way, shape, or form—quite the opposite, in fact. Muscadet wines are typically bone dry and aromatically light.

    This is a very cool, coastal, and Northern Atlantic-influenced land where grapes do not overripen. Melon de Bourgogne is an offspring of the Burgundy varieties Pinot Noir x Gouais Blanc (as are Chardonnay, Gamay, and Aligote), and was brought to the Nantes region from Burgundy in the 17th century by the Dutch, who were primarily looking for a cold-weather vine for brandy production.

    The term Sur Lie on the label refers to the practice of aging wine on its lees, or dead yeast cells, which imparts a weighty, creamy texture when the yeast breaks down (this is also done in Champagne during secondary fermentation!). The wine must be aged on its lees for a minimum of six months before being bottled directly off its fine lees between March 1 and December 31 of the year following harvest.    

    La Morandière is an estate planted on hard gabbro bedrock, a magnesium and iron-rich rock formed underground by cooling magma. With almost three feet of nutrient-poor silty/sandy topsoil, we get a light wine that can be enjoyed early. This wine is considered an entry-level offering in his line, which also includes a single vineyard bottling intended for long aging. But do not dismiss this as just another quaffer! To preserve the natural freshness of Melon B, winemaker Alexandre Derame uses gentle whole-cluster pressing and completely natural fermentation in stainless steel before aging it for 12 months on its lees in porcelain-lined concrete vats. This lees aging allows what would be a relatively neutral wine to pick up more interesting aromatics– sharp lemon becomes lemon balm, a light body becomes a rich mouthfeel, and we taste honeysuckle, white peach, and sea salt notes, too!

    This wine is ideal for a raw bar, but it can also be enjoyed as an aperitif while grazing on crudité and cheese while waiting for the turkey to roast!

— Cara Patricia

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