Firstly, we are going to dispel a myth, or at least a misunderstanding. Muscadet is BONE DRY. It is the light, fresh, tangy oyster wine from the mouth of the Loire river in the west of France, where it runs in to the cold Atlantic Ocean. It has nothing to do with Muscadelle or Muscadet, both versions of sweet wine, which it is commonly associated with.
Muscadet is the AOC region in the Loire Valley, whose white wines are made from a variety called Melon de Bourgogne. It handles the cold and harsh climate and delivers tense, delicate, brittle wines. The best are somewhere between high quality Chablis (Chardonnay), Sancerre and dry German Riesling. They are, along with Chablis, the unofficial oyster wines of France.
Jo Landron is the producer here, one of the top few growers and makers of the style, and irrelevantly, perhaps the winemaker with the most impressive mo in the business. It’s appropriate that we offer his wine in the middle of Movember.
Jo Landron is the third generation of Landron’s to farm and grow grapes in Muscadet, and has transformed the regions reputation for quality and age worthy whites. Each generation has expanded the property, from 3 hectares in 1967, to the 48 hectares they currently have under vine. The major change Jo has introduced is the committed approach to organic farming which achieved certification in 1999. Prior to this, Jo also undertook a detailed survey of their soils and the wines are released as expressions depending on their vineyard/ soil type. Cru Muscadet if you will.
We are offering two whites from Landron, to give a window in to the style and domain. In general, the wines have a bracing acidity, a chalky mineral feel, a pure lemon/ lime citrus and iodine like core of flavour. More details on each wine are below.
Jo Landron, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Amphibolite” 2018
Amphibolite is young, raw and bracing. It is from a 7.5 hectare vineyard with a metamorphic and green rocky soil. The vines are up to 40 years old. The fruit is fermented naturally in glazed concrete vessels, which harnesses the purity and minerality. There is only four months on lees and an early bottling, and whilst the higher priced of the two, is designed for earlier drinking and is classic Muscadet in every sense, with citrus and saline flavours and perfect with a plate of briny oysters. Drink this summer.
Jo Landron, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “La Louvetrie” 2018
From a blend of sites with more gneiss, clay and sand content. Vine age is slightly younger, between 15 and 30 years. It delivers a softer and more forward expression of Muscadet, with slightly longer lees ageing. Riper citrus in to pear and apple skin flavours but still loads of freshness, floral and spice character. This one will take cold seafood dishes but also try with mild cheeses such as a soft, chalky goats. Drink over the next two years.