Tag Archives: yeast

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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FABRICATED.FIZZ.

A lifetime has passed since I picked up Vidal Blanc juice, fresh from harvest in New York’s Finger Lakes on October 23rd. Between then and present, my wine underwent fermentation, fining, cold stabilization, and at least three rackings. Once the … Continue reading

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HAPPY.NEW.SAME.

Wine follows its own calendar. You can’t rush it. All you can hope is to avoid panic. It has taken two months for it to settle, since I picked up vidal blanc grapes in October. I itch to bottle it. … Continue reading

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END.GAME.

The end is nigh. Fermentation has slowed in my six gallons of vidal blanc juice. Less than a week has expired since I picked up the juice. Last night’s reading (below) was a call to arms (and racking siphon tubes). … Continue reading

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WORK.WINE.WORK.

Work. Wine. Work. Wine. Work. Wine. The days blur my routine of tests and checks, morning and evening with my time at work. Selling and making the stuff eats my hours. But soon fermentation will stop. Soon all I will … Continue reading

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