Réserve Personnelle 2019
Domaine de la Combe
Region: Loire Valley

Tasting Notes

This is quite rich for a Muscadet, spending 14 months on its fine lees for added complexity. Fully phenolic ripeness. there are nuances of sweet apple mixed with bracing Meyer lemon and white grapefruit notes. There is some weight on the palate, which is rare to see from this region, but the acidity is still at play here, ensuring mouthwatering freshness. Pair this with a plate of freshly shucked oysters.

Melon de Bourgogne is a crossing between Pinot Blanc and the little known Gouais Blanc variety. It was once prevalent in the vineyards of Burgundy (hence its name), until it was ordered to be destroyed by the Burgundians in the 18th century. By then it had a toehold in the Atlantic area of the Loire Valley around Nantes, where it became the dominant grape and the base for Muscadet. Typically high in acid, fresh and mineral driven, it typically does not take to new oak very well. Complexity is gained by spending time on its lees. The best examples can gain some stone fruit notes to go along with the characteristic citrus elements.

Muscadet sits in the Nantais region of the Loire Valley. Bordered by the foothills of the Mauges and Bocage Verdeen ranges, vineyards are frequently planted on the steep hillsides of the Sèvre and Maine Rivers. Sitting on the soil of the Massif Armoricain, its soils are primarily gneiss, schist and granite. There are crushed seashells and sand pockets leftover from retreating oceanic waters in many of the vineyards. Melon de Bourgogne, a white grape, is the only variety allowed in appellation-status bottlings. The wines are typically light- to medium bodied, with vibrant acidity.

At the mouth of the iconic Sèvre and Maine Rivers, in the little village of Saint-Fiacre, the vineyard is planted in gneiss, which has a similar composition to granite. From old vines, planted in 1967, sitting in the widely acclaimed lieu-dit of Pétière, the vines have an advantageous south-eastern exposure that allows them to enjoy full sun exposure during the day. This is important, as the strong Atlantic winds moderate temperatures severely; cool evenings are the norm during the growing season.

Hand-harvested from steep organic vineyards, the wines undergo fermentation with wild yeasts and without the use of enzymes or sulfur. The fermentation takes place in underground cellars to control temperatures. After 14 months of aging on its fine lees, it is bottled. Unfined and unfiltered.

Wine Type: White

Variety: Melon de Bourgogne

Classification: N/A

Orientation: Southern exposure

Appellation: Nantes

Gradient: Very steep, slightly above sea level

Soil: Gneiss

Farming Practices: Traditional with de-leafing. Biodynamic practices. 2021 vintage will be Ecocert certified

Residual Sugar: 0.5 g/l

Alcohol: 12

Malolactic: Yes

Botte Size: 750 ml

Acidity: 4.0 g/l

Other Practices: Sustainable