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Dom. de la Batardiere Muscadet de Sevre et Maine 2004

Melon de Bourgogne from Loire, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Light, edgy and bright with plenty of acidity, maybe even a little carbon dioxide left after the bottling "sur lie." The storied match for oysters, scallops and other shellfish, it also complements sautéed Dover and Petrale sole.

    After temperature-controlled fermentation in concrete, the wine rests for a few months and then is bottled directly from the vats in which it has aged. This traditional technique - called bottling "sur lie" (on the lees) - maintains the tingle of fresh acidity which is the hallmark of classic Muscadet. Estate-bottled.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Dom. de la Batardiere

    Domaine de la Batardiere

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    Domaine de la Batardiere, Loire, France
    Located in the village of Gorges, 35 miles from where the Loire River meets the Atlantic Ocean. 75 acres of 100% Gros Plant, the vines grow in a light alluvial soil over limestone. Grapes have been grown and wine made in this part of the Loire since the Middle Ages; la Batardière has records of its vineyard leases dating from the 14th century. Property of the Aulanier family since 1767, the buildings and gardens at La Batardière bear a strong Italian influence.

    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.

    Melon de Bourgogne

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    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 to the west of the city of Nantes and part of the larger Muscadet region.

    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 continually outlawed from Burgundy, just like Gamay, at various times during the 16th & 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.

    Perfect Pairings

    Try Muscadet with any light and flaky fish, oysters, roasted chicken, root vegetables and fondue.

    Sommelier Secrets

    The wine itself is called Muscadet, and while suggestive of “muscat,” the wine is not related to any muscat variety.

    ALL8325040_2004 Item# 86946