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Review Muscadet sur Lie 'Les Gautronieres' 2016

Muscadet sur Lie 'Les Gautronieres' 2016

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light-medium bodied, dry
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Grapes Melon de Bourgogne
Profile Dry, medium bodied
Match with White Meat, Goat's cheese, Soft cream cheese, Salmonids, Clambs, Spicy Oriental, Whitefish, Shellfish
Year 2015
Region Loire
Appellation A.O.C. Muscadet de Sevre et Maine
Country France
Production Biologic

Bonnet-Huteau, Les Gautronnières 2015 Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine could not better embody the satisfyingly juicy and refreshing nature of young Muscadet. The Bonnet brothers Rémi and Jean-Jacques are fully signed up to wholemeal vine growing and were certified organic in 2009 before moving on to biodynamic viticulture for their 40 ha (100 acres) in 2010. Yields are limited to 40 hl/ha. Their grapes, Melon de Bourgogne from 20- to 30-year-old vines, are all picked by hand – unusually for Muscadet. The wine was aged on lees for six months (and I actually preferred it to the longer-aged 2013 Goulaine bottling that I tasted at the same time). My tasting note:

'Good cut and vivacity. Mouth-filling fruit. So straightforward and of its place: cool, calm and collected. Nice label too. There's a beginning, middle and end to this wine with its hint of saltiness. VGV (very good value)'.

This wine would make a quite delicious aperitif – and teaching aid for anyone wanting to learn what quintessential top-quality young Muscadet tastes like. Although it's already delicious (more delicious than the 2016 Muscadet from Virgin Wines tasted alongside), I don't think there's any desperate hurry to drink this. I'd be intrigued to try it in three or four years' time. It's wonderful to find so much flavour in a wine that has only 11.8% alcohol. The total sulphite level is less than 50 mg/l and 25,000 bottles were filled.

Gautronnières is grown on slightly elevated gabbro (an igneous type of rock) and amphibolite (a metamorphic rock).

(By Jancis Robinson)