Producer: Domaine La Quilla / Saint Martin
Region: Loire Valley
Winemaker: Gérard Vinet
Available Sizes: 750ml
Appellation: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
Grape Variety: 100% Melon de Bourgogne
The Vinet family show their dedication to the variegated terroirs of the Muscadet region in a unique way. When Gérard and Laurence married, both families had vineyards on different soil types from different villages. It was their vision to retain the individuality of these two locations and make distinct wines labeled under the original family domaines instead of combining them. For this reason, you will find Domaine Saint-Martin registered and labeled separately. The small production sparkling wine Maleco is detailed on the Domaine Vinet producer page.
To understand the Muscadet region, one must understand the idea of ‘Sur Lie’ – with lees. The ‘lees’ are the dead yeast cells after they have converted the grape sugar into alcohol. This fine powdery silt rests on the bottom of the tank or barrel and slowly gets absorbed into the wines. It is a natural preservative which helps white wine age longer, as well as accentuates a mineral character in the wine. This minerality is expressed through salty, savory notes that we associate with the rock minerals in the soil. It also creates a richer, crunchier texture and offers up hints of fresh baked bread on the nose and in the finish. ‘Bâtonnage’ is the practice of stirring the lees to allow for more absorption. The Domaine Saint-Martin Muscadet expresses aromatics of citrus, green orchard fruits, melon, and a pleasant herbal bitterness with a touch of salinity. Did you like Sweet-tarts candy as a kid? Then this might just bring you back to those simpler times.
Perfect with raw oysters, steamed mussels, crab cakes, and anything else from the sea for that matter. Also great with mild Asian dishes like dim sum, dumplings, or tempura fried vegetables.
Melon de Bourgogne is often times referred to by the region it comes from, Muscadet. As the name implies, this grape was once planted in Burgundy, but was gradually removed through the 16th century in favor of grapes like Chardonnay and Aligoté. It briefly found a home in Anjou, further inland in the Loire valley, and then the Dutch planted it around the city of Nantes in the 17th century. We now associate the character of the wine with the classic lees aging (Sur Lie) that is frequently used for these wines of the Muscadet region. Leaving wine on the yeast (lees) adds body, texture, and a salty minerality that balances gracefully with the natural freshness and acidity of the Melon grape.
9 hectares (22 acres) in the village of Château Thébaud on mica schist soils with gneiss and granite. Of the 9 hectares, one is an old parcel of 60+ year-old-vines.
A delicate, temperature-controlled, whole-cluster pressing and fermentation with 6-8 months on the fine lees (Sur Lie) with bâtonnage (stirring the lees). Bottled in late May of the following year.