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A fresh, ripe-fruited Loire Muscadet, which rests on its lees (yeasts leftover from fermentation) for extra texture and roundness. From Chéreau-Carré, this is the ideal accompaniment to shellfish, but with enough grip to match with chicken, charcuterie and much more.
Product Code: QVG-LO15182
View all products by Chereau-Carré
The name Chéreau has been prevalent in winemaking circles in the Nantais area of the Loire region for centuries. This particular branch of the family, however, did not enter the wine business until after World War II. Starting with only a small family plot in the early 1950s, Monsieur Chéreau senior set about acquiring more vineyards and property in Sèvre-et-Maine, the most notable being Château de Chasseloir in 1953, with its 15th-century tower, historic chai and 100-year-old plot of vines.Chéreau’s marriage to Mademoiselle Carré also brought the vineyards of Château l’Oiselinière into the fold. Following this union, the business was renamed Chéreau-Carré in order to distinguish it from other growers with the Chéreau name and the couple’s business went from strength to strength. The Society first bought here in February 1986 (the L'Oiselinière 1985). Second generation Bernard Chéreau, is in charge of the whole family firm, which includes a number of domaines under the Chéreau-Carré umbrella, and today his daughter Louise works alongside him. The Society’s Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine sur Lie also originates from their vineyards. Naturally, the melon de Bourgogne – or muscadet – grape is king here and there is extensive use of lees-ageing to provide an extra dimension to the wines. Sur lie wines often have more character and Bernard’s wines prove they can develop in the bottle and cellar too, as most vividly displayed by the Cuvée des Ceps Centenaires, from 100-year-old vines on the Chasseloir property, and Le Clos du Château at L'Oiselinière. The Society has listed the former for many vintages, while the latter, a more recent arrival, and their contribution to the new Cru Communal initiative, is a prestige bottling from a perfectly exposed, mineral-rich plot of eighty year old vines, matured for 17 months on its lees (and hence, ironically, not allowed the sur Lie appellation).
The Loire is the longest river in France, stretching some 1,000km from its source in the south to the Atlantic coast a little west of Nantes. At times majestic, never more so than when overlooked by one of the many spectacular châteaux that lie close to its banks, it was in the past a vital trade waterway. Today, it is better known as a tourist destination. Throughout, the river has been a key factor in the production of wine, whether as a transport route, as a supply of water, for its cooling effects on the surrounding land, or for the mist that often lingers along parts of the valley and helps in the production of many of the fine sweet wines that the Loire Valley is famous for.The geology and climate - the terroir - varies dramatically along the length of the Loire, and, as a result, so too does the choice of grapes planted and the style of wines produced.Red wines are in the minority but a combination of vastly improved husbandry over the last few years coupled with what looks increasingly to be the effects of climate change have made these wines more and more attractive. The main varieties are:Gamay produces wines akin to Beaujolais in the south; in the Touraine, gamay generally has less overt fruit and a slightly earthy character which is not unattractive with food but some will find an acquired taste.Cabernet franc, one of Bordeaux’s grapes, is normally grown here as a single varietal. At its best it has a lovely fragrance and freshness with a good, gentle tannin structure, making it the ideal lunchtime red.Pinot noir is the most delicate of the Loire’s red grapes, producing excellent rosé as well as fine reds that can rival good village Burgundy (more Côte de Beaune than Côte de Nuits in style).Whites are made principally from three single grape varieties. Muscadet, or melon de Bourgogne as it is still sometimes called in France, dominates in the far west, producing fresh, dry, sappy wines that are at their best with seafood.Chenin blanc covers much of the vineyard land around and between Angers and Tours, and is responsible for the Loire’s sweet wines as well as some excellent - and quite varied - dry ones. Many develop greater finesse and complexity with age, but chenin is a grape that requires patience and understanding as, more than any other variety, it can pass through a rather ungenerous "closed" phase, only to blossom again later. Something Noël Pinguet of Domaine Huet likens to the unresponsive teenage years of our children.Sauvignon blanc offers important volumes of good, everyday drinking in the Touraine region but produces its best examples in the Central Vineyards of Sancerre and Pouilly and its near neighbours Menetou-Salon, Reuilly, and Quincy. Loire sauvignon is rarely oaked and is normally fresh, grassy, bone dry and lightly aromatic, making it the perfect wine to serve with fish.Other than the grape, two other key factors should influence your choice of Loire wines. Far and away the most important is the name of the producer. Buy from a trusted, ideally tried and tested source and you will not be disappointed in quality terms.The other major influence in the Loire is the style and quality of the vintage. As one of France’s most northerly wine producing regions, and even with the apparent effects of climate change, the Loire does suffer from the vagaries of the weather, which means that the quality and even more the style of the harvest can vary quite significantly.As a very rough rule of thumb, if we have poor spring and summer weather in the UK then chances are there will have been similarly poor weather in the Loire. On these occasions it is all the more important to stick to growers you trust, read whatever information you have easy access to in order to better inform your choice, and be prepared to adapt to sometimes significant shifts in style. 2005 and 2006 were warm, healthy vintages with ripe fruit and lower acidity, producing more approachable wines. 2007 and 2008 mark a return to much more typical, classically styled Loire vintages with wines that are lighter in body (and alcohol) and with much fresher acidity. If you are lucky you will enjoy both, but many will have a strong preference for one style over another.
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"Good value easy drinking."
Mr David W Allan (14-Dec-2018)
"Drier than a dessert-dwellers flip-flop with some nice fruit. Excellent with a nice piece of fish or on it's own."
Mr Edward Keane (11-Jun-2017)
"A refreshing dry white that complemented fish pie very well."
Dr Brian Carr (16-Apr-2016)
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