Friday, December 4, 2009

Sur Lie sounds so sexy! Muscadet is a sexy wine! Here's why.

Hi again! Ya, my bad, it's been almost a week since I updated this. Totally on me and I will get better. Hell, I'm even thinking of branching out and posting more than just wine reviews, like stuff on travel and sports, even the cooking I try to do! But in any case here's a shoutout to Gray over at Wing and a Prayer Blog, he goes places I only dream about. Great writer, you should read it if you love travel as much as I do.
Anyways enough with the brief aside! You're here for one reason..well maybe more than one cause you may have accidentally stumbled upon this little blog while looking for real blogs about wine. But in any case how about we review a wine I just tasted? By "just tasted" I of course mean a glass is sitting right in front of me. What I'm tasting tonight is a Muscadet Sevre et Maine. It's French, from Muscadet which lies close to the coast along the Loire River. The grape is commonly called "Melon" but it's fancy name is "Melon de Bourgogne". Wikipedia has a surprisingly accurate and well written piece on Muscadet so I recommend going here to check it out. It costs 7$ at Trader Joe's. Some other pertinent info would be it's from Chateau Des Cleons and is imported by Plume Ridge out in the city of Industry here in California.

Onwards to the review!
2008 Chateau Des Cleons Muscadet Sevre Et Maine
So, why did I buy this wine? Well for a few reasons. One, I've had Muscadet wines before and loved the bracing acidity and light body, but with the wonderful bouquet and complexity good ones have. Second, the region is very close to my favorite part of France, the Brittany coast. Third, it was priced right and hey, I buy (so far) all the wines I blog about so price does come into play.
This little gem was pulled out of the refrigerator about an hour before I poured it, to give it time since I hate serving white wines at bone-chillingly cold temperatures. In the glass it's got a really neat pale color, somewhere between that clear/almost grayish tint of a pinot grigio to the light light straw colors of a Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc. At around 11.5% alcohol, it's definitely light and perfect for a hot day..which today is decidedly not (for San Diego at least).
First impressions from the sniff would be a light perfume-y aroma, lime/citrus, florals, hints of pear, and some yeasty notes that are really wonderful. They give it substance, it doesn't just vanish after a half second in the nose. I'm impressed! Obviously the next logical step would be to taste it, which I did. When it first hits your palate, there's splendid acidity, like a fine brush across your mouth. It really cleanses things but in a really refreshing way. I tasted grassy notes, some minerality, definite lemon peel, again that fleshy/yeasty sensation, maybe a hint of pear/green apple too. The finish is absolutely razor sharp, it's gone in a few seconds. Before you go thinking that's a negative though, consider this. It's a dry white, it should in fact have a very quick, clean finish! That's the point, to cleanse your palate and get it ready for the next bite of food. This Muscadet does that quite well, yet also leaves me wishing for another sip right away. That's also big in my book, because the savory taste sensation is one of my absolute favorites. Maybe that's why I really love Japanese food so much. Suffice it to say I'm thoroughly impressed with the wine. It hits all the required points really well in my opinion.

Now I get to give it a cheesy rating. After a few reviews I'm still pondering my system, and would absolutely love some feedback from my (small amount of) viewers. Does this setup work for you? Is it easy to understand and more importantly, does it help you trust what you've read from me? Anyways if you care to answer those questions, I'd love to hear about it. This wine gets a solid A- from me. It's not perfect by any means, it's not "amazing" or "enthralling" or whatever. It's really really good though. If I were working for a wine rag, I'd say between 88 and 90 points. That's just my limited experience with Muscadet wines though, and I really need to taste a bunch more. (Free samples anyone?) If you can get this particular one, I say do it. Try it out, see what it tastes like to you, I sure enjoyed it. Even though it apparently isn't the season, according to the experts, for these kinds of wine, I still believe they have a place at your table. Fall and Winter aren't all about mutton stew and rib roasts, you gotta have other things in your diet and this would pair well with a lot of things. Some suggestions I have are: grilled fish with lighter sauces, salads with creamy dressings, mushroom turnovers, clam chowder, any other shellfish. There, I bet the real chefs out there are rolling their eyes and dismissing me but who cares. Wine and food are all about what YOU like to cook and eat, no one else. That's it for now, I'll be tasting some wines this weekend and will do my best to write them up.

Beau Carufel


  1. I like your system/setup. I like the way you keep things very descriptive, almost as if we're all there tasting the wine with you while putting some humour into it, keeping it light and fun. I like how you keep things in "laymen's terms" for those who may not be as versed in the terminology. As time goes on you will develop your own unique style. The way you have set it up is very enjoyable to read. Keep up the good work!

  2. Tasty. Just starting to sample French wine, and for it's price, this one is pretty amazing. Fruit forward, but actually fairly interesting finish. Mushrooms, indeed! Great review! Definitely gonna break this one back out as the Chicago weather warms up!