Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chéreau Carré's 2002 Le Clos Muscadet

I have good news and bad news about Chéreau Carré's 2002 Le Clos Muscadet.

The good news is abundant. Any wine imported by De Maison Selections is no less than good, and this one is undeniably terrific. Bernard Chéreau has crafted a concentrated, elegant wine that's everything a great Muscadet should be. The grapes are grown on the schist and orthogneiss soils of the Chateau l'Oisiliniere, fermented solely with indigenous yeasts, and aged on the lees for 31 months. Six years after harvest I have the privilege of drinking this with a pan-fried halibut filet, with which it's perfect. Smoky minerals hit my nose and on the palate Muscadet's hallmark lemon zest and lemon fruit notes are in perfect proportion to the salt, the acidity, and the smoky minerals. The touch of creaminess on the palate makes this truly elegant.

The bad news is the price. I paid $30, and the suggested retail is $40. Most of you reading this will know that Ollivier's Clos de Briords is priced in the mid-teens and I'd put them toe to toe. And the Granite de Clisson ($20) is even better than the Le Clos. I would love to experience this wine again and again, but alas, the price.

I should mention that Chéreau's Comte Leloup de Chasseloir comes from 100+ year old pre-phylloxera vines planted on limesone and is supposed to cost $20. If I find it at a touch less the price, I'll definitely check it out.

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