Wine Muse: Muscadet

I drove 40 miles to buy this wine. But it was a sunny day and I have a fabulous BMW, so it was a good excuse to venture forth.

If you have been following Libations, you will soon get a sense of the type of wine I drink. I have my years of vinous experimentation behind me, and have developed a definite wine palette. Here it is:

  • I drink white
  • I drink single varietals
  • I adore wines from France and Italy
  • I love lean, saline wines with a good jolt of acidity; thus almost always unoaked
  • In terms of fruit flavours, I like crisp apple, tangy citrus and such like
  • I like rocks not flowers. By this, I mean that I avoid aromatic wines like Gewürztraminer, Torrontés, Viognier  and will drink Chablis any day
  • Unlike the rest of the planet, I cannot abide Sauvignon Blanc. I guess I do not like grass, gooseberry, or cat’s pee either
  • I favour wines in the 12-12.5% range. I like the taste of grape and place, not the heat of alcohol.

But on to this elegant wine to usher in Spring. Chateau de la Gravelle is a 15 hectare property located in the Loire Valley in the town of Gorges in the heart of the appellation, Muscadet Sévre et Maine. Unusually, the soil of the estate is comprised of volcanic rock which gives the wine its distinct personality.

Image by Wine Folly
Image by Wine Folly

COUNTRY: France GRAPE: 100% Melon de Bourgogne; Organic ALCOHOL: 12% PAIRING: Aperitif, Seafood, Butter

Pale in the glass with modest scents of lees, lemon pith, seaside brine and fabulous gunflint, this little beauty smells correct in every way. The palate is lively, assertive, and dry, dry, dry. Ripe exotic citrus mesh with savoury flavours capped by a mineral-tinged finish, it’s long in the mouth and ends on a wave of saline acidity. Older vines, volcanic gabbro and clay soils, extended lees ageing and unobtrusive winemaking distinguish this muscadet in a special way. Gets big points for terrific value and phenomenal terroir expression.  

~ 90 Pts ~ DJ Kearney

The verdict? Definitely worth the drive.

Château de la Gravelle (here); Chateau de la Gravelle Muscadet Sévre et Maine, In BC (here); DJ Kearney (here), Wine Align Review (here).

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