100% Melon de Bourgogne – and yes, I know you’ve probably never heard of it…
…and the French wonder why people stopped buying their wine, and moved toward New World producers!?!?! No-one can understand the wine labels!!! The full name of this wine is so intimidating, it makes you wish you’d paid better attention in 3rd grade French class!
Let’s take a look at the label above, and break it down section-by-section:
– Chateau de la Dimerie – name of the winery making the wine.
– Muscadet Sevre et Maine – region from which the wine hails.
– Sur Lie – an aging process which will be discussed below.
– Appellation Muscadet Sevre et Maine Controlee – this just means that the wine is coming from a very clearly defined wine region, within the Loire Valley region of France.
NB: Please note that nowhere on the label (front or back) will you find the name of the grape in the bottle. That would be TOO easy!
Don’t be confusing the Muscadet [moo-skuh-day] with Muscat [moos-kat]! They’re 2 completely different grapes.
Zero-zip-nada information on Chateau de la Dimerie, either on the information super-highway, or in my ridiculously large collection of wine books. They need to get on that!
The wine is aged Sur lie [sur lee], meaning that the wine is aged whilst being in contact with its dead yeast cells, (which would normally be removed quickly). You see, the problem is that grapes is this region typically have super-high acidity, I’m talking take-the-enamel-off-your-teeth acidity! The best way that winemakers have found to balance this out, is to age the wine sur lie. This enhances the flavor of the wine, whilst adding a slightly yeasty complexity. It can also trap a little CO2 in the wine, giving you a little fizz.
Place (click map for larger view)
The richest of all Muscadet’s comes from the Muscadet Sevre et Maine wine region within the Eastern part of the Loire Valley.
White grapes dominate the Loire, with Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne leading the way. Don’t dismiss the reds altogether though; some of the Cabernet Franc’s from the Loire can be amazing (although sometimes an acquired taste)!
Muscadet Sevre et Maine is the largest wine producing region (by volume) in all of the Loire Valley.
As you may or may not have guessed Melon de Bourgogne is thought to have originated in the Burgundy region of France. The Burgundians (I don’t think that’s the correct term, I just made it up) decided that they wanted to focus all their efforts on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and gradually ripped up all but a few of their Melon de Bourgogne vines.
Bright and lively (of course), with not so much acidity that it makes you want to tear your teeth out. Green apple, lime and lemon rind, white melon, and white chalk minerality. White pepper toward the back, with a surprisingly long saliva-inducing finish.
Let’s try and get beyond the usual “Muscadet with Oysters” pairing! It’s a given that the two-combined are a textbook match, so why not try to think a tad more outside the box, and go with; crab salad with grapefruit segments, lobster with drawn butter, sushi, goat cheese, nuts, or white fish in a beurre blanc sauce.
$9.99 – It’s always nice to start inexpensive when branching out into something you’ve never before tried!
Wine is imported by The Country Vintner.