Tag Archives: Clisson

Aging Wine on Sludge: Muscadet Sur lie -vs- Sans lie

Last Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour visited Clisson: home to Muscdet Sèvre et Maine. Before we left, we popped into their tasting room and found this:

Muscadet wine filled this barrel-with-its-skirt-lifted. Neon lights lit the thing that makes Muscadet fantastic: sludge:

That sludge consists of months of sedimentation of dead yeast and particulates. Called lie (lees), nearly half of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine proudly adds “sur lie” (on the lees) to its labels. But why?

To find out, we sample through twenty wines for free at Nantes’ Maison des Vins de Loire:

Let’s begin with plain ‘ol Muscadet:

Château-Thébaud uses grapes from grower Poiron Dabin. Its pale gold color runs from the core to the rim. Pure, strong aromas waft of honey, flint, smoke, and salt. It feels dry, still racing with acidity, mild alcohol, a lightish body, and moderately intense flavors of tart green apple, grass, salt, and bees’ wax. The length is only medium. Yet five years old, this Muscadet remains fresh and clean cut. It is textbook, faultless, and very good (4 of 5). Continue reading

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Clisson: Wine Village with an Italy Fixation: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #52

Last Monday’s EU AUSTERITY DRINKING TOUR took us to the vines of Vertou in the heart of Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine (see post: here).

Today we travel further up the Sèvre River to the Southeast edge of wine making in Muscadet: Clisson.

We leave futurist Nantes late. Our hangovers slow us down. So we buy new floss, deodorant, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. No greater joy exists for the traveler than fresh toiletries.

Our train stretches through 30 minutes of vineyards and villages. The river basin turns into hills. And we arrive at Clisson. Continue reading

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