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Ripe and refreshing Muscadet from Chéreau-Carré in the western Loire valley, this is the ideal accompaniment to shellfish, delicious on its own, but good too with chicken, charcuterie and much more.
Product Code: LO15871
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, Bernard 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. Investment in the region has continued since and they now own 133 hectares across six domaines and five communes.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 in 2014 his daughter Louise joined him to continue the family commitment to the region and to the development of the Crus Communaux.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 up to 33 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.
Yet another exceptional vintage! Perhaps these atypical years are the vintages of the future? 2019 was another year of extremes and nail biting, with temperatures even in the Loire Atlantique nudging 40C more than once last summer. With so little rain, there were concerns over whether the fruit would actually ripen, but sure enough, some rain did arrive: a little in mid-August, a little more in early to mid-September, depending on the location, refreshing the vines and allowing them to ripen their healthy fruit in fine conditions. There will be some great reds, with the chance to keep some in store for the future. Whites are ripe and healthy, with, remarkably, a little more freshness than the 2018s, so it will be a great year to explore the length of the Loire.
"Delicate and light. Something for a red wine drinker with a hangover."
I would recommend this wine
"stunningly good. The first time i can remember grabbing a bottle of muscadet to drink on its own without seafood or fish. Its like a good basic Chablis with a touch of spritz. In France i was told it was called Melon de Bourgogne and thats what this bottle is."
I would recommend this wine
"Extremely drinkable. We accidentally polished off this bottle while preparing dinner! Now need to order more."
"Really enjoyed this Muscadet, and it improved after a day open (stoppered) in the fridge. Ordering again."
"Delicate and light. Something for a red wine drinker with a hangover."
Lancashire Evening Post 7th Dec 2020
"This is a delicate
white wine, feminine and subtle, but with a clue in its name that hides a touch
of something special. The term 'sur lie' measn that the wine has aged on the
lees (the dead yeast left over after fermentation) which adds a hint of
complexity. It's playfully lively on the palate, that's for sure, with melon,
pear and lemon jostling together to be a flavoursome success. A festive fish
pairing shouts out, and poultry too. - Jane Clare"
"My comments refer to the 2018. On Day 1 this wine did not impress even after a Double-Decant and I didn’t even recognize it as Muscadet. However on Day 2 it had matured into a very pleasant 3* Muscadet. My conclusion is that it is still young and will improve further. I shall try it with the 2019."
Mr Bill George (14-Nov-2020)
"Excellent! Muscadet is one of the few white wines I really like."
Mr David Phillips (25-Oct-2020)
"I liked this wine. The big downside is the plastic cork, extraction of which with a conventional cork screw pretty much causes a hernia. Anyway, what IS the point of a plastic cork. As this is the Society's own wine, could you please use your influence to require a screw top."
Mr John Woods (16-Jul-2020)
"This has had generally good reviews, however I found my bottle contained a very mediocre wine with a disagreeable nose. I aerated it, not my normal pattern for a white, and that helped a bit, but not enough for me to order it again."
Mr Charles Yoe (09-Jul-2020)
"Enjoyed this with a chicken dish,satisfyingly dry and with just the right amount of minerality."
Ms Anne Horne (14-Jun-2020)
"Everything you want from a Muscadet. Fresh lemon juice, apple and gooseberry leaf nose and well-structured balanced minerality and acidity in the mouth. Lees ageing helps give the long finish and depth of flavour. Great with seafood. "
Mr Richard Dennis (13-Jun-2020)
"Nothing wrong with this at all. Classic Muscadet Sur Lie. Great with a baked brill but of course would go with any seafood or in fact chicken.
Could be drunk on its own. Great value too!"
Mr Martin Wingate (05-Jun-2020)
"I was unable to find a NZ Sauvignon and always liking the odd one of these went for the case. A much better choice - goes really well with salads and fish"
Mr Andrew J Stanley (29-May-2020)
"Went in hard and had this with (particularly spicy) Asian food as suggested on the back of the bottle. Slightly syrupy texture and an unexpected aniseed after-taste. Neither of these characteristics are particularly negative, but this definitely not a "drinking" wine for me. I am happy to try this again with other food pairings."
Mr James Sturt (22-Jan-2020)
"Classic dry muscadet - very pleasant "
Mr David Welland (06-Oct-2019)
"I thought this an excellent example of a Muscadet. Obviously dry, but with a full flavour. Great with barbecued fish on a summer's evening."
Dr David Bryson (05-Aug-2019)
"Quite smooth but not nearly as dry, crisp and sharp as I like to find in a Muscadet. 4/10"
Mr Richard Gandy (30-Jul-2019)
"Wonderfully dry and 'minerally'... fantastic value... Great for drinking every day (well... why not!)"
Mr Simon P Walsh (02-Apr-2019)
"This wine is amazing with a beautiful sherbet fizz. Would definitely recommend. "
Mr Philip Stirups (03-Mar-2019)
"Delightfully citrus without sharpness. A faint natural fizz. This is a super wine in the sun and in the winter. Very drinkable. Recommend!"
Mrs Helen Fitzpatrick (03-Feb-2019)
"I have not tried Muscadet since the awful 1980's when it was everywhere like Pinot Grigio has been lately and with dismal quality. Having been tempted to try this wine as, apparently the old style quality Muscadet is back, it has really put Muscadet back on the map for me. Great body, lemon and grass coming through - and a petillance to go with it. Lovely wine. I am here writing this review prior to buying more. Recommend it! "
Mr Nick Liddington (31-May-2018)
"I tried this as an alternative to Marlborough Sauvignon - I'd absolutely recommend you try it. Light and citrussy with crisp acidity and some of the grass cutting nose you'd expect from MS. Thoroughly enjoyed this wine and will definitely order more."
Mr Callum Montgomery (16-Jan-2018)
"This is a superb example of a Muscadet and you can always appreciate the effort gone into to making this wine with the effort of drawing straight off the lees. The price is fantastic which gives you a fresh, fruity, mouth watering wine that is an amazing aperitif or served with a seafood pasta as we did.......well done WS!!!!"
Mr Glen Hayden (12-Oct-2017)
"For the price absolutely stunning Sur Lie."
Mr Jonathan Spratt (07-Nov-2016)
"Fresh, clean and light with apples and a slight saltiness. A what you see if what you get wine. At £6.50, it's always handy to have a couple of bottles around to go with a light lunch,"
Mr Thomas Choong (10-Oct-2016)
Mr Ian Jones (12-Aug-2016)
Dr R C Hayter (11-Aug-2016)
"Hmm....Its OK but I found this wine to be a little sharp to the point of being sour."
Mr Robert Summers (20-Jun-2016)
The Field (17th Mar 2017)
"Crisp, clean and dry
but ripe and weighty, too, and corking value. - Jonathan Ray"
Hexham Courant (20th May 2016)
a good Muscadet should be, and at £6.50 is a bit of a steal.
- Helen Savage
"Mr Brown's review has it right - crisp, zesty, acidic. Green, green apples yes, and perhaps also a squeeze of lemon. We had it with a bass fillets stuffed with an olive tapenade - very good. Despite Mr B's warning I had some left for an unaccompanied glass or two tonight and managed to thoroughly enjoy it!"
Mr Andrew Palmer (06-Dec-2015)
"Make sure you get the mussels first! Then its a wonderfully fruity Muscadet to match. But woe betide anyone that tries to drink this on its own. Its a fire cracker: sharp, zesty, highly acidic... with a touch of sherbert and green green apples, Just perfect for the Moules!"
Mr James Brown (18-Aug-2015)
"In my opinion rather bland. Other Society wines at the same price I find are more to my taste."
Dr John Baston (29-Oct-2014)
"A pleasant wine but out of the six we ordered 3 had a distinct fizz. They weren't corked bit not quite as good as I'd expect from the Society range."
Mr Donald Beaton (03-Nov-2013)
"Fantastic value, a great glass of fresh, crisp but not sharp, fruity French white. Best well chilled, great on its own or with light food especially white cheese in the middle range. Well balanced body with good long sweetish (but well controlled) aftertaste; a very pleasant surprise. Would certainly recommend it for those patio weekend afternoons with the family - hopefully not too far off!!
Mr Terence Eastham (15-Mar-2013)
"Lovely zing from the lie, fresh, light and lovely. Always a fan of Muscadet though so perhaps I'm biased!"
Mr Matthew Harris (15-Jun-2012)
"High quality Muscadet with a fantastic depth to it's flavour. Amazingly dry but suprisingly fruity. This worked great with poached trout. Another society wine with the thumbs up :)"
Mr Russell Peace (24-Sep-2011)
"This is a fantastic wine - I'm not a fan of the overwhelmingly fruity 'in your face' style of some new world white in this price range. This has much more of a delicate and restrained style that I find much more appealing. I drank this with white fish and asparagus wrapped in parma ham. Less is very much more, in my opinion, and this wine delivers on this mantra."
Mr Matthew Robison (08-Aug-2011)
"This wine is, as they say, what the Wine Society is all about, a popular region which produces oceans of wine that require very careful selection, a challenge which the Society has met triumphantly. I have bought it year after year and never had a bad bottle. I like to match it with plaice and chips. Beware of inferior imitations - this is the only Muscadet you need to buy."
Bernard T Hawcroft Esq (24-Mar-2011)
"The single best Muscadet I've had since the the early 1970s. Perfectly balanced, with the smell of the sea. Many are too fruity or flat to do justice to oysters, lobster, and crab, but this succeeds brilliantly. BRAVO!"
Mr Jonathan Waddilove (05-May-2010)
"My common-law wife and I enjoyed a bottle of this terrific little wine as part of a Society mixed case recently. It has a lovely pale straw colour, and a fresh nose that smacks of the sea. True to form, this was deliciously dry. And yet also very smooth; with subtle fruit flavours. We had chosen this as an accompaniment to a full-flavoured, spicy cuban fish dish - it worked perfectly."
Mr Alexander Kirk (02-May-2010)
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