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The perfect all-rounder. Uncork the fresh, dry stone-fruit charm of this Vinet family benchmark with seafood feasts or enjoy its racy refreshing fruit solo as a warm-weather thirst-quencher.
Product Code: LO16111
View all products by D G Vinet
Owned and run by husband and wife team Gérard and Laurence Vinet, this domaine comprises around 55 hectares of prime Muscadet vineyards in the heart of Sèvre-et-Maine, to the south of Nantes. One of the villages around which the Vinets are based, La Haye Fouassière, is actually the origin of the wines of Muscadet, as well as one of the new Muscadet Cru Communal appellations. Gérard's brother Daniel formerly tended the vines and is officially retired but can still be seen working in the vineyards at harvest time. With the influence of the Atlantic, the harvest generally begins in early September. Among the best plots here, made up of old vines, are those that provide grapes for Les Ratelles, our preferred cuvée, but across the range the accent here is on very classic, mineral Muscadet with good fruit and firm structure.
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.
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"Simple nose, predominantly apple and grape. Nice and clean. Really refreshing. Super smooth on the palate, gentle acidity, nothing complex but enjoyable. A little bitter thank you at the end of the palate but didn't take away. Feels like it wants to be sweeter but is making it's own vibe. Worth the money. "
Mr Phil Eckersley (09-Apr-2021)
"I having been buying Domaine des Ratelles for a few years now and thought that 2018 is the best for a few years. Clean, dry and moreish"
Mr Paul Beckwith (16-Feb-2021)
"Good value Muscadet with simple but refreshing citrus flavours"
Mr George Martin (05-Feb-2021)
"Great value for money. I have bought it again and again"
Mr Steve Mummery (16-Jan-2021)
"I like Muscadet. It is one of those wines that divides opinions, but I am firmly on the side of the lovers, not the haters.
This is a pretty classic example. It has fruit, acidity and crispness. It is properly dry, unlike some Muscadets you can find, and that might put some people off, but it is what I look for in the wine.
I'll definitely keep this on my regular orders list."
Ms Carole Flint (01-Oct-2020)
"Competently made and correct Muscadet with a bit of character to it, and while there was a backbone of acidity, it didn't overwhelm the wine. "
Mr Mark Colman (16-Jul-2020)
"Quite delightful, had a bottle in a mixed case and then bought a case. Full of flavour, possibly more robust than expected but well worth the money."
Mr Peter May (26-Jun-2020)
"Just as Muscadet should be. Lovely, fresh citrus flavours, with balanced acidity, just right for Summer drinking."
Dr Edward C Bray (15-Jun-2020)
"This becoming our summery white wine, hints of citrus, sharp enough to cut thru sauces and salad dressings...it’s perfect with fish and seafood or as an aperatif.
Well priced and will have some more please."
Mr Andrew Brewer (31-May-2020)
"Enjoyed this (after a disappointing experience with anther wine in the previous bottle I'd opened). This was full of character with a nose full of citrus fruit and a big powerful hit of fruit and acid on drinking. Exactly what a well made Muscadet should be. Definitely be ordering more of this."
Mr Colin Savage (08-May-2020)
"Having really enjoyed the 2017, I found the 2018 to be incredibly acidic and sharp. Too much so. It eased a little with food (scallop linguine) but was still a bit too challenging. "
Mr Glenn Thwaites (24-Jan-2020)
"Straw coloured with green tinges
Lovely fresh citrus fruit on the nose, quite light
Delicious tasting, with great acidity and a slight tingle on the tongue
Thoroughly recommend it
Mr Edmond Mandell (13-Dec-2019)
"Given the disagreements below, just tried a second bottle and my thoughts remain the same; this is a superior Muscadet at the price of a bland supermarket version. It's not going to cause any ripples amongst fine wine aficionados, but at the price, it's excellent value. "
Mr Andrew Sturmey (15-Nov-2019)
"As I recall Muscadet in the days when I lived in Paris (so long ago) it is bone dry and clean. I agree with other reviewers it has some acid but overall I enjoyed the bottle. I would n't rave about it but it was a decent enough wine."
Mr Anthony Johnson (21-Oct-2019)
"Looking at the reviews I'm wondering whether there is some variation with the bottling of this wine, because I agree with Mr Sturmey on this one. I thought this was a beautiful Muscadet with bags of flavour, freshness and vitality. I can understand some not liking it if they are particularly sensitive to this wine's acidic backbone, but I like white wines that have this kind of precision and will definitely be getting this again. It was a perfect match with the big bowl of steaming mussels that accompanied it! (Rated according to the Society's guidelines: A delicious, memorable, well-made wine that you're likely to recommend to others)."
Mr Nigel Skelsey (23-Sep-2019)
"Can't understand the Members' Reviews mentioning a bitter aftertaste; this is classic, fresh, clean Muscadet at the same price as a bland supermarket Muscadet. Clearly the other reviewers aren't fools, so there's an issue with some of the bottles out there, but as far as I'm concerned, this is a bargain!"
Mr Andrew Sturmey (23-Aug-2019)
"Truly horrible . Sour . It's very , very hard to find a good Muscadet . And yet I keep trying ............."
Mr John Hope (18-Aug-2019)
"I bought this as an experiment, based on the other reviews. For me, this is just cheap house plonk. I would not recommend."
Mr Simon Amor (09-Aug-2019)
"Muscadet does not usually find its way into our cooler, but we were tempted to try this after a recommendation from a fellow member.
A lovely fresh clean wine, with a touch of salt.
It will figure in future orders.
Mr Sidney Roots (29-Jul-2019)
"Great price for a classic Muscadet. Perfectly matched our smoked salmon linguine. Straight onto our house wine list..."
Mr Johnny Holmes (10-May-2019)
"I am an enthusiast of this wine and have had a few bottles (my wife would say too many) but the trouble I find is getting into the bottle!! I use a levered screwpull and when I pull the lever up the part that grips the neck slides down and I am unable to lever the cork out. I then resort to the corkscrew I bought from the Society but am not strong enough to take the cork out with this. I have opened many bottles since I joined in 1973 and this is the first time that I have had either of these problems. You would be doing a public service if you could persuade all producers of wines that are drunk fairly soon after the vintage to use screw tops. I am sure constant research is going on into closures but I have some 2005 Australian wine I bought from you with a screw top and it is still going strong 14 years later so any I buy now should see me out!!."
Mr Richard F Lloyd (25-Apr-2019)
"Bought the 2017 on the back of the lovely 2015. Very disappointed. For me the 2017 has a bitter aftertaste. To check my thoughts I opened a second bottle with 2 other members + a MW. All agreed about the after taste and the MW described the wine as 'Sour'; a description we all thought accurately summed up the wine. Sadly will have to return it."
Mr Christopher Prestwich (25-Mar-2019)
"Every time we drink this wine it seems to be an exciting new find. It has depth, flavour and length which often seem to be missing in many other Muscadets. The 2017 is particulaly good. We enjoy it with skate (raie au beurre noir)."
Dr John G D Carpenter (24-Jan-2019)
"Muscadet-sur-Lie is a new go to value for money white for me. Clean, pure, salty, no messing wine.
Mr Tristan Ward (01-Nov-2018)
"It has been a while since I had a Muscadet. Certainly one as good as this. Straight into my permanent list; summer evening, chicken salad, and a delightful glass of Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie. Absolute joy in a glass! More more! There isn’t much that could live alongside this."
Mr Julian Boyce (08-Jun-2018)
"The driest I've ever tasted and outside my comfort zone. I found it a little bitter."
Mr Neil Perry (03-Feb-2018)
"Perfectly quaffable but lacks the stark mineralty of the previous vintage - rounder and a little more buttery."
Mr Daniel Boland (22-Jul-2016)
"Initial sip; the wine seems (slightly) rich & fruity more akin to a premier cru chablis - and then develops in the mouth into absolutely bone dry classic young Muscadet. If we have a summer 2016, this is the bottle to keep in the fridge for the first glass in the evening."
Mr Tim Potts (21-Jun-2016)
"Bracing and refreshing - nothing complex but nice with olives before dinner."
Dr Pippa Lane (01-Jul-2016)
"Opened as summer has returned, and was a suitably light, fresh breeze. Mineral with a slice of lemon, softened with slight creaminess."
Mr Daniel Boland (01-Jul-2016)
"This is actually for the 2011. I bought 3 bottles of this 2 years ago and stuck it away. Patience has been rewarded. Like most Muscadet, very little fruit but the leesy, creamy quality and sea like minerality of the wine gives it depth and resonance. What fruit there is is apple and a citric finish."
Mr Sean Hardon (18-Jul-2015)
"Disappointed. Possibly slightly corked. Wouldn't repurchase."
Dr Robert J Allison (11-Dec-2014)
Hexham Courant (20th May 2016)
more creamy but a shade less saltily bracing [than The Society's Muscadet]
- Helen Savage
The Scotsman (3rd Oct 2015)
"Bone dry tense, firm
style with clean lemony fruits at a very good price. - Rose Murray Brown"
manchesterconfidential.com (15th Jun 2015)
"Impressive… tangy, a
mouthful of pebbles but with a long streak of fruit along with the acidity. - Neil Sowerby"
"Haven't found out what this tastes like: I bought six bottles and have tried to open 3, and every time the cork just crumbles and won't come out. Very disappointing: has anyone else had problems with this wine or have I just been very unlucky?"
Ms Saira Salimi (26-Jan-2013)
"Fresh with soft creamy fruit. One to buy by the caseload."
Mr David O'Connor (10-Dec-2012)
Harpers (7th Jun 2013)
"Very fresh, crisp apple fruit. Minerality on finish. - Martin Hudson MW"
"This is a textbook Muscadet. Yes, it is dry - as Muscadet should be - but the quality of the fruit is so perfectly ripe that there is a seam of sweetness running through it. This would be heaven with a dozen tremendously fresh native oysters. Or even with a packet of crisps. Time to stock up on the 2010 vintage, because Muscadet growers were hit by grim weather in 2011, making it a very troublesome year."
Mr Will Smale (15-May-2012)
"General ageement with previous comments, this is a more restrained, tighter style of Muscadet, so better drunk with food than as an aperitif. I too love Chablis and this is a great alternative if you like wines that are bone dry, mineral and crisp."
Mr Jeremy Gwyn-Williams (16-Mar-2012)
"I always get a bottle of this with each order. Not for those who like their whites ripe and fruity but I absolutely love it. It's very paired back and linear, absolutely bone dry and quite singular. Goes like a dream with oysters or anchovies. Also good with salted pistachios as an aperitif.
Reminded me a little of a sublime Domaine William Fevre Chablis in it's freshness, but as that's more than twice the price, this makes a great value everyday substitute."
Mr Matthew Robison (15-Feb-2012)
"Some creaminess on the nose; very tart and lively on the palate. Not an easy drinker but brilliant if paired with oysters or olives."
Mr William Davies (25-Dec-2011)
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