Crus control: Muscadet

18th July, 2013 by Rupert Millar - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2

Muscadet’s producers are hoping to raise the region’s profile with a new classed growth system, which includes a newly sophisticated layer.

MuscadetFOR A region as misunderstood as Muscadet, the implementation of a cru system may seem a little over ambitious.

Nonetheless, for the producers a swing towards more premium products – and therefore higher prices – may be one of the best ways of raising the profile of the region and, in doing so, change attitudes.

The idea is to create a “quality pyramid” for want of a better expression. Generic Muscadet forms the base, with Muscadet from the regions of Sèvre & Maine, Coteaux de la Loire and Côtes de
Grandlieu providing a middle and finally the new crus communaux being the apex wines.

The emergence of these wines comes after 10 years of hard work on the “base”. Since the dropping off in consistency which so damaged Muscadet’s reputation, there has been a turnaround in the quality of everyday Muscadet which has led prominent critics such as Jancis Robinson MW to urge consumers to return to drinking these wines.

The crus communaux represent a newly sophisticated layer to the Muscadet offering. The cru style has in fact existed for a while. For many years producers have left their wines longer on the lees, using smaller yields and from specific sites. On this the crus have been based. They aren’t allowed to use the sur lie title for a couple of reasons. Firstly, although cru wines are aged on their lees, they are bottled long after the November the following year limit assigned to ordinary sur lie; furthermore, they lack the spritz that consumers associate with Muscadet and normal sur lie so the omission of that denominator is designed to limit consumer confusion.

Currently, three crus have been recognised by the INAO. Situated in the Sèvre & Maine sub-region of the Nantais, they cover the villages of Gorges, Clisson and Le Pallet.

Four more villages in the area are hoping to be recognised by next year, Goulaine, Monieres-St-Fiacre, Château Thébaud and Mouzillon-Tillieres, while another two are beginning the process and will not be recognised for several years yet – La Haye Fouassière and Vallet.

The current area classed as “cru” is still tiny in comparison to the rest of the region: 200 hectares and around 5,000 hectolitres out of the 2,500ha in Sèvre and Maine alone and the 9,000ha and 450,000hl produced in the wider region.

Nonetheless, many producers see the development of the crus communaux as symptomatic of the wider revitalisation of the appellation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager – London On-Trade

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Customer Service & Sales Support Executive

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Market Insight Analyst

Conviviality PLC
London, UK

Technical Manager

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more