In words, Jeremy Quinn's exploration of time, terroir and wine

"Le terroir n'est pas une chose fixe, en termes de goût ou de perception. C'est une forme d'expression culturelle qui n'a jamais cessé d'évoluer..." J. Nossiter.

Starting in March 2010, this blog will be devoted to those who champion the transmission of past knowledge into the present: I don't naively defend tradition, or condemn 'modernity' out of hand.

So many blogs explain 'cool' new experiences in wine and food... blah blah blah... I hope to show the ephemerality of the 'new', and (perhaps) an original standard for qualitative value, a la Bergson... Join me in the effort: viva Jerez, Jura, Hvar, etc.!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Muscadet Today

A lovely tasting today at Perman's with Candid Wines and Jo Landron of Domaine de la Louvetrie in Muscadet; some mature Muscadets along with young ones, all from the 4 best winemakers in the region: Landron, Bossard, Ollivier and Papin. Jo likes to compare Muscadet to Burgundy in ripe years, and Savennieres in less-than-ripe years... an interesting idea, but for me, the extended lees contact of Muscadet tends to obscure those relations. It would take a 5-page essay to describe all the information he shared; I'll limit myself to a few choice rapid-fire comments.
Tasted the '09 Louvetrie, which had wide-out, generous flavors of orange blossom, tea, and chive, next to the '08 Louvetrie 'Hermine d'Or', which had powerful mineral and salt and a lemon-curd grip, which bore out Jo's comment that '09 was sunnier, more bold and juicy than '08.

The 2002's were showing GORGEOUSLY; we had a healthy number of these. Jo's 'Fiefs du Breil' was powerful, rich, and dark, with an exotic blue cheese/anjou pear flavor... Bossard's 'Orthogneiss' was round and plush, driven by golden raisin and sweet cherry... his 'Granite' had a saltier, mintier, nervously 'taut' character, while staying quite overt... Papin's 'D'Or' was very floral & fragrant, perhaps my favorite of the tasting - the palate was all smoked salt and fresh red salmon.

Interesting thing about Muscadet which speaks to other regions in France (and the world): the greater degree of minerality to the wine at harvest, the longer it can sit on lees and gain in complexity. The exposure of the site, the heat of the year, and the time of harvest all affect the potential minerality (expressed in terms of the root depth & essential oils they pick up). So 'sur-lie' time in Muscadet is relative to all of these. I found Bossard's wines (a biodynamic winemaker) to be the most complete... Yet Jo's, read as sculptures, had the strongest mineral 'pedestal', the highest step by which to be viewed...

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