2019 Claude Branger "Terroir Les Gras de Moutonns" Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Loire
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Among the small cadre of committed growers in Muscadet—and it remains a small cadre—the father and son team of Claude and Sébastien rank among the top. Claude was an early member of Terra Vitis, an organization that sets guidelines for sustainable farming and monitors its members’ practices to ensure compliance. Subsequently, Sébastien embarked the domain on the road to full-fledged organic farming. The first parcels received certification in 2016 and by vintage 2019 all of the domain’s parcels were fully certified.
From 18 acres of vines growing in a celebrated vineyard named the Fat Sheep.* This is in the adjacent commune of Saint Fiacre, which is the smallest of the 23 communes in the Sèvre et Maine AC and one with some of the best grape growing land. The rocky gneiss soil here is thin, between 6-14 inches deep, in a seam of amphibolite, a greenish metamorphic rock. The vines were planted between 1930 and 1986, and average more than 50 years old. The meager soil and the old vines give naturally low yields, averaging 45 hl/ha. The wine rests on its lees in underground tanks for twelve to fourteen months. Ripe, round, concentrated and intensely mineral, this wine can age beautifully, developing aromas with bottle age that are a cross between Riesling and Pinot Blanc. This is the absolute perfect wine for fresh seafood like oysters and clams.