Louis Métaireau, ‘Carte Noire’ Muscadet Sur Lie 2019
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Region: Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine, Loire, France
Varietal: 100% Melon de Bourgogne
Tasting notes: Marie-Luce Métaireau and Jean-François Guilbaud farm this 23-acre domaine under organics, selecting their older vines for this rich Muscadet. It’s fully ripe, the fruit having shed any greenness but still holding tense acidity. A hint of meringue-like sweetness cushions the texture and extends the sandy, oceanic flavors for a lovely match with shellfish.
Producer: Louis Métaireau — along with his band of vignerons d’art, as his like-minded group of producers were known — was instrumental in restoring the reputation of the Muscadet appellation in the middle of the 20th century. It was he who first began leaving his wines sur lie (on their fine lees) through the winter, which gave rise to the IOP Muscadet Sèvre Et Maine Sur Lie. All the wines from this property honor the legacy of Louis Métaireau, showing the heights Muscadet can reach with unique, place-driven, covetable bottlings.
Vineyard and Winemaking: Since taking over for her father, Marie-Luce Métaireau and her husband, Jean-François Guilbaud, have assembled one of the most prized vineyard sites in all of Muscadet, the Grand Mouton vineyard; the vines range from thirty years of age to a parcel planted in 1937. The vines are tended organically, and everything is harvested by hand — a rarity in this region, where 98% of all grapes are machine-harvested, and conventional farming with chemicals is the norm. After resting on their lees over the winter in concrete and glass vats, the wine is siphoned off from the lees without stirring or filtering beforehand, using only gravity in the spring following each harvest. The “Carte Noire” (black label), made from vines planted in the 1950’s, is classic Muscadet, with great depth and complexity.
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