52 Weeks of Wine – Week 29: Muscadet (May 11th – 17th 2019)

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If you’ve been following along for more than a minute, I don’t need to tell you that I do not have an affinity for sweet wines. So any word starting with “musca…” immediately results in my reaction of “no thank you!”. However, when I was recently reassured that Muscadet was different, I decided to incorporate this wine into our 52 Weeks of Wine Training Program. 

So what is Muscadet and how does it differ from Muscat, Moscato, and Muscadelle? Muscat is a common family of grapes for which Moscato (a sweet Italian wine) belongs. You may have also heard of Muscat wines grown in the United States in non-traditional wine production regions such as North Carolina, Virginia or Kentucky. Muscat wines are traditionally sweet and are arguably the oldest wine grape. Muscadelle is a different grape and does not belong to the Muscat family, though it is typically used in sweet and fortified wine production. Muscadelle is an extremely sensitive grape and is on a severe decline of production. Lastly, we have Muscadet. Also known as Melon de Bourgogne, Muscadet is very light bodied, dry, known for citrus notes and minerality. I look forward to discussing minerality in greater detail in the future because it is a trait that sparks my interest and one that I find very challenging to describe. 

That brings us to this Muscadet: the 2015 Bonnet Huteau Muscadet Sur Lie Les Gautronnieres. The color is a light straw and it’s light body is evident in the glass. The aromas are of green apple and pineapple and the flavors are of grapefruit with high acidity and minerality. As for what I thought: Every note in this wine points to a favorite in my book except for one….minerality. Wines with high minerality give me the feeling of seashells or sand sitting in my glass and that sensation seems to brush across my teeth and leave an almost saltwater taste in my mouth. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few attributes that I can’t get past. If you enjoy minerality in your wine and you’re a Sauv Blanc or Albarino lover, I feel confident that you will enjoy this wine! I gave this wine a three out of five cork rating and it retails at $14-17 per bottle. 

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