Wine Doctor by Chris Kissack

Vintage 2013

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur lie 2013: A sample fromcuve, the wine still on the lees. Fine-boned white stone minerality on the nose, good expression, fresh and really zippy. It is certainly clean. A little carbon dioxide adds to the lift in the wine here. Good substance though, correct acidity, pear and stone fruit character and some appealing texture. Impressive. 15.5-16.5/20 

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur lie Le Pavillon 2013:From vines planted on granite and micaschist. A single vineyard. The aromatics feel vibrant, precise and minerally, with a polished face-cream richness, scented with pear and floral notes. This is expressive and correct. A more structured palate, with a firm minerally seam on top, good acids, and fine, vinous white fruit beneath. Correctly styled, this could be very good indeed. 16-17/20 

Vin de Pays & Gros Plant
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Gros Plant du Pays Nantais sur lie 2013: A sample from cuve. This is sourced from a 1.5-hectare plot of vines. Aromatically it has a fresh, clean, herbal lift, and it feels very typical of Folle Blanche. There is a little grass to it as well though, and also a touch of musk. The palate is bright, full, lively, with good acidity and minerality. It has a nice zip to it. 13.5-14.5/20 

Grolleau Gris (VdP du Val de Loire) 2013: Perfumed, sandy fresh nose, good salty edge to it, and this comes through on the palate as well, with fleshy green-tinged fruit. There is some flesh to it, and an approachable breadth on the palate. Easy drinking and fun. The residual sugar, at 4 g/l, may be helping the texture here a little. It feels broadly dry though. 14-15/20 

Sauvignon Blanc (VdP du Val de Loire) 2013: Quite a grassy and sandy Sauvignon Blanc nose here. It feels fresh, with a lightly fleshy palate. This is very easy going, with some soft and open grassy fruit as per the nose, and a fleshy texture despite there being no appreciable residual sugar. A rather short finish. 13.5-14.5/20 


  

Vintage 2012

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur lie 2012: A pungent nose to this wine, showing white fruit with a rather sweet character, nuanced with pears presented in a very precise and floral style. The palate is full, rich, broad, with exciting acidity. I find lots of fruit character here, pear skin, acidity, freshness, bite and a white pepper grip. Lots of substance in the finish too. Good. 15-16/20 

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur lie Pavillon 2012: A delightfully cutting, sandy minerality on the nose here, very pure, the aromatics showing less fruit character here, with more minerally suggestions. The palate is reserved, with white peach, apricots and pear flesh, a good grip and pithy substance. A fine, peppery bite in the finish. This is a very stylish wine with a lot of potential. Very good indeed. 16-17/20 

Vin de Pays & Gros Plant
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Gros Plant sur lie 2012: This has a fragrant, very floral, perfumed nose. It is full, supple, and just as fragrant on the palate as it is aromatically, with a fine, sandy character. Pretty, but overall rather straightforward in terms of character. 14-15/20 

Grolleau Gris (VdP du Val de Loire) 2012: A pretty, floral nose, with rather a sandy character to it as well. It has a leafy fruit freshness, some notes of spiced almonds too. The palate is remarkably fresh and fragrant, with a supple character, good acidity and some nice flesh. It has more weight than its residual sugar (7 g/l) would suggest. Spicy, fleshy, easy and approachable. 14.5/20 

Sauvignon Blanc (VdP du Val de Loire) 2012: Cool fermentation, at 16-17ºC. A sandy character to the nose. Bright white fruit, sweet and lifted, with a little nuance of pear drop. Polished, dry, fleshy though, with a slightly grassy floral character, and plenty of good acidity to counteract the fleshy weight. 14.5/20 

Vintage 2011

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur lie 2011: A full, lemony, slightly salty nose here, with plenty of fresh fruit too, especially notes of pear and little tinges of white pepper. Classically Muscadet, clean too, an achievement in this difficult, rot-infested vintage. The palate has a lovely tingling minerality and acidity to it at first, helping to give the wine a good definition, with moderate substance which actually builds with air into a handsome flesh, backed up by a good, sappy fruit substance. The fruit starts off with a pithy character to it, but soon shows richer, citrus tones, with notes of orange zest and juice. Overall fresh, grippy, appealing. Lovely, fruit-rich, but with all the backbone of the appellation. Perhaps not the precision of 2010, but fine substance and grip. 15/20

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Le Pavillon sur lie 2011: A really evocative and open character here, fruit-rich and aromatic. There are notes of juicy pear and sweet, aromatic, Provençal herbs, rich and intriguing. The palate is full of all this pear-juice fruit, laced with white pepper at first, and then through the middle there are more vibrant notes of citrus fruits, oranges and lemons. There are also enticing structural elements coming in here, with supremely balanced acidity and fruit, a tingling sea of minerals, and juicy substance. Gloriously fun to drink, and yet also substantial and composed, adding a cerebral component to the forward pleasure. Delicious. 16/20

Vin de Pays & Gros Plant
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Gros Plant du Pays Nantais 2011: A brut de cuve sample, not yet filtered. The aromatics are unsurprisingly very fresh, primary and sing of the fermentation, all pears and leafy fruit. Aromatically, I have to confess I find this pretty-fruit character very appealing. It is fresh, lively, quite aromatic but gently fleshy too. Despite its reputation this is not at all challenging; it is ripe, polished and fresh, although it does have a bit of a bite as well. A good sappy finish too. Pass the oysters, please. 14.5-15.5/20

Sauvignon Blanc (VdP du Val de Loire) 2011: A really fascinating aromatic profile here, as this combines the slightly sandy and salty minerality that one might expect in a Muscadet with the aromatic fruit profile of a Loire Sauvignon Blanc. The latter elements are fairly savoury rather than too sweet, but in all honesty it is the sandy-salty element that dominates the nose, and I confess I find it really attractive. The palate is mouthfilling, rich, with a vibrant fruit intensity, all pears, star fruit, gooseberry and the like. The substance is fairly rich and broad, this certainly being a wine of impact and flavour. It lingers in the finish a little as well. None of the raw character you can sometimes get with this variety, Overall I think this is remarkably good quality considering the variety and its origins. 16/20

Vintage 2010

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur lie 2010: A lovely, stony, polished, pear-fruit profile here, evocative and expressive, perhaps with a more classically styled character than the 2011. Whereas that vintage speaks of the fruit, this one seems to speak of the stone at its centre. Fresh, lifted, almost floral in character, redolent of elderflower. The palate has a firm and stony character, lovely definition, white stone fruit, pear skins, white pepper, thyme and overall a great sense of grip. Only a very bare minerality at its core, but it still has some lovely character. The finish is really composed, harmonious, giving a fine sense of polish and even finesse. In no way austere though, as all that stony character comes wrapped up in a juicy texture, and there is a real flourish of fruit in the finish. Impressive. 15.5/20

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Le Pavillon sur lie 2010: Beautiful fresh citrus fruit on the nose here, over notes of whites peach and pear. Fresh, bright and vibrant, with a stony purity but loaded with exuberant fruit too. Notes of thyme as well. Fine, pure, rich and yet with a lovely substance and structure to it on entry, maintaining a super presence through the middle of the palate. There is a real flesh to it, but also a fine-boned grip and surprisingly bright but precise acid backbone, giving it an attractive balance rather than anything more cutting. Quite savoury elements coming in through the middle, giving it a really broad appeal. Long and pithy. And a good grip in the finish. 16.5/20

CUVEES SIGNATURE ET ORIGINE

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Signature 2009: From 45-year old vines. One of the long lees-aged cuvées. Bottled December 2012, after three years on the lees in traditional subterranean tank. Harvested 15 days after other pickings to give more depth. The nose is fresh, open, with good polished style, solid minerality coming through. The palate is firm, correct, stylish and fairly full. There is a stack of mineral character here, such energy and a precise definition. Piles of potential, and this is quite long too. 16.5/20

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Signature 2006: A pale golden yellow. Aromatically there are polished yellow golden fruits, showing signs of age but this is in no way 'mature'. There are notes of yellow peach and brioche. The palate conveys this richness on first taste, but it is followed up by a dry entry into the midpalate, before it unfolds to reveal plenty of lively acid and vibrant, crunchy minerality. The substance is not as richly embellished as the nose first suggested, the frame of the wine very secure, crisply defined, but as it builds through the middle it does show a fine confidence, with nuances of citrus fruits and pear coming through, that certainly holds appeal. This is true in the finish as well, which is grippy and shows some dry, appealingly bitter length. A good wine in what was a difficult vintage for the region, with a wet harvest giving difficulties akin to those just seen in 2011. 16.5/20

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Origine 2003: From vines planted in 1944 by their grandfather. This vintage has seen out ten years on its lees. Bottled September 2013. White peach, vanilla flowers, white stone here. This seems fresh and bright which is impressive for the vintage. The palate is richly polished, textured, with a very broad palate, soft and open in the style of the vintage, but there is a good minerally substance underneath, well hidden by the textured orchard-fruit richness, and bright acids too. A fine composition, with a long, incisive finish. Appealing, and true to the vintage style. From a 2014 update. 16.5/20

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Origine 2002: Once released from the bottle this wine demonstrates a pale lemon-gold hue in the glass. And it has a quite remarkable nose, rich and impressively full, and yet vibrant and bright. The fruit character is very exuberant, but also clean and well defined, with orange zest, sherbet, honeysuckle and yellow peach aromas all in evidence. Later on, with a little more exposure to the air, it shows more complex fruit notes, slightly more tropical, with hints of pineapple even. On the palate it is pure and defined at the start, with fabulous depth and a firm minerality coursing through beneath the vibrant citrus fruits. There is a lemony cut to it but there is no denying the substance. This gives it a lemon-cream feel, a slight hint of richness but nothing too polished or honeyed, the midpalate maintaining a precision and beautifully poised balance. It has a delicious length too, the finish just going on and on. A super style here, proof that there is life beyond the Sèvre et Maine appellation. For label images and more see my Wine of the Week write-up. 17.5/20

Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu 2001: This is the cuvée that is aged ten years sur lie, renamed Origine in the 2002 vintage. Lovely, lightly polished face cream and pear skin character. On the palate it shows the richness and breadth of the extended lees aging, with great composition. Full of depth, texture, acid definition and fine, face cream and white peach character, with a characteristic streak of bitterness. Very good indeed. From a Muscadet tasting in the Maison des Vins de Nantes, hosted by InterLoire. 17/20