Saturday, 21 January 2012
Muscadet Crus Communaux: a trio tried
2006 Clisson, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, Stéphane and Vincent Perraud
Over the past couple of nights we have been trying some more of the Muscadet crus communaux. This time a trio – two from Clisson and one from Le Pallet. Once again we tasted them on their own and then tried them with food. This trio provided further evidence that these are wines best served with food, which tends to accentuate their complexity and bring out their minerality and acidity. Tasted alone the minerality tends to be hidden by the richness.
2005 Clisson, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, Christian Pineau
We tried the two Clissons served with plainly grilled fillets of sea bass and much preferred the 2006 which showed greater complexity and balance both by itself and with the fish. The 2006 Clisson from Stéphane and Vincent Perraud had good weight, attractive texture and is long and well balanced. In contrast the 2005 from Christian Pineau, although rich with a hint of honey and was rather ungainly. This may be a reflection of the vintage for although 2005 is a fine vintage for reds, the whites often lack the vivacity and finesse found in cooler vintages.
2003 Le Saphir, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, Frères Futeul
I had anticipated that coming from the heatwave vintage the 2003 Saphir might be too rich for its own good. This, however, was not at all the case as its ripe fruit was balanced by a freshness in the finish. We tried this with a guinea fowl cooked in a Norman style – pot-roasted with apples and cream and finished with a good slug of Calvados and some more cream. Certainly a challenge for most Muscadets! However, Le Saphir worked well with the dish for although the wine's weight was a little subdued by the apple and cream sauce this was made up by the increased minerality and acidity that cut the Norman richness.
We also tried the remains of the 2006 Clisson with the guinea fowl and again the wine stood up well.
Some of the bottles being used for the crus communaux are quite heavy. Although I understand that the Muscadet producers want to make a statement about the quality of these wines, heavy bottles now get a bad press over increasing the carbon footprint. It would be a pity if the quality of these crus communaux get overlooked through criticism of the weight of the bottles used.