It has taken me eight plus years to come to this conclusion: Muscadet may be the best value white wine there is. Many will disagree. There are plenty of delicious reasonably price Sauvignon Blancs coming from New Zealand and a bounty of fresh clean Spanish and Portuguese whites available that sell for unbelievably low prices. But there is something special about Muscadet that separates it from other inexpensive high quality white wines.
Good Muscadets have terrific aging potential and are very interesting, complex and delicious. I love raw oysters. The best and most memorable of my wine instructors swore by Muscadet with raw oysters. He said "there is no better pairing, the brininess of the oysters and the refreshing acidity and mineral notes in the wine complimented each other perfectly." I have always enjoyed Chablis with my oysters but it was now time to test out his advice.
I did a little research and chose a bottle of Chateau Chasseloir Comte Leloup de Chasseloir Muscadet Sur Lie 2007. I thought what most people think of when looking at a $15 bottle of white wine that is four years old. Is this wine going to be good or is it too old? My question was answered with the first sip as a smile spread across my face. Not only was the wine good, it tasted brand new with refreshing notes of mineral, apple and pear.
Since this awakening experience last fall I’ve been trying all Muscadet I can get my hands on. The majority of them are under $20 a bottle. The less expensive offerings are dry, crisp and clean. They are very easy to drink and are great pairing with oysters, Dungeness crab legs and mussels in white sauce. The more serious wines, the ones that opened my eyes, are richer with an almost oily texture, great mineral notes of chalk and sea-salt. These wines also exhibit a prominent fruit component of pear, apple and white peach. To experience these wines for yourself pickup a few bottles of Chasseloir Comte Leloup Muscadet Sur Lie 2007 in our bottle club for $12.79 or Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet de Sevre Clos des Briords 2010 $16.99.
Drink one of these now and forget about the other bottles until next summer or the following one, and prepare to be delighted. These are two of the best wines produced in the region. How often do you find a wine that is among the best of its region and it’s under $20? Almost never! Stock up now.