Chereau Carre Muscadet Comte Leloup de Chasseloir Centenaires 2005
The wine develops complex flavors whilst preserving its freshness. Many vintages that are stored in the cellars are appreciated over a decade.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The House of Chéreau Carré occupies the most privileged position in the Loire-Atlantique department of France. This family-owned property dates back to the 15th century. The vines here are some of the most prized in the region of the Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine. The property is managed by Bernard Chéreau, whose family origins span back to the eleventh century. Bernard’s passion for Melon de Bourgogne is evident in the quality of his wines.
Bernard is constantly innovating and seeking to show off the incredible sites of his domain. These sites are part of a new system used to identify vineyards (called Cru Communaux). The first is Comte Leloup de Chasseloir. This site at the front of his estate is composed of over 100-year-old vines growing in slate soils. The site is three hectares of vines on a plateau that overlooks the river. The wines are then aged in the only underground cellar within the region.
Château l’Oiselinière, meaning “owl’s nest,” comes from a very privileged site located directly at the convergence of the Sèvre and Maine rivers. It is 10 hectares of 40 to 80-year-old vines facing southeast, enclosed by the two rivers and surrounded by forests. The soils here are schist and orthogneiss. Two wines are sourced from this vineyard site and both are fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged on the lees in cement tanks. The Château l’Oiseliniere de la Ramée is the newer of these two wines and is aged for six months while the Le Clos de Château l’Oiselinière, sourced from a two-hectare plot of the older vines within the vineyard, is aged for 31 months.
Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.
The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.
The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).
The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.
Made famous in Muscadet, a gently rolling, Atlantic-dominated countryside on the eastern edge of the Loire, Melon de Bourgogne is actually the most planted grape variety in the Loire Valley. But the best of it comes from Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, a subzone west of the city of Nantes, which is part of the larger Pays Nantais.
The name might suggest this grape is from Burgundy—and indeed its origins are Burgundian. But while history shows it is the progeny of Pinot and Gouais blanc, it was continuously outlawed from Burgundy, just like Gamay, at various times during the 16th and 17th centuries.
In the Glass
Muscadet wine is full of fresh acidity and has smoky and saline aromas with some floral character; flavors are of green pear, lemon and honeysuckle. Since the mid 1980s, winemakers have been successfully experimenting with various winemaking techniques including barrel fermentation, lees stirring and pre-fermentation skin contact to make a more complex wine.
Try Muscadet with any light and flaky fish, oysters, roasted chicken, root vegetables and fondue.
The wine itself is called Muscadet, and while suggestive of “muscat,” the wine is not related to any Muscat variety.