Classic, Refreshing Muscadet: Bone-Dry $22 Loire White

Perched where the Loire river meets the windswept Atlantic coast, Muscadet has long been a source for a classic, dry white wine. Served by the carafe in the oyster bars of Paris and London for decades, it’s refreshing, abundant, and inexpensive — a perfect glass to wash down a plate of crustaceans.

In the last few decade Muscadet has undergone a reinvention of sorts with the elevation of three of the region’s best towns to a new “Cru Communal” status. Today’s wine comes from one of these three leaders in the new wave of Muscadet. Combining excellent terroir with extended years on the lees, this is an unusually complex take on a classic.

Martin-Luneau is a fourth generation family domaine farming old vines on the plains south of Nantes. Their 2016 Muscadet “Clisson” has just arrived, and it’s delicious — a marriage of the brisk, refreshing essence of the sea, with the delicate herbal and fruit flavors of western France. This is not your grandfather’s Muscadet — it’s a new generation’s take on a classic French staple.

The nose is clean and pure, showing dried flowers, melons, and lemon. The mouth is smooth and very dry, with notes of stones, salt air, and apple skins. Oysters are the longstanding pairing of choice with Muscadet, and the thick savoriness in this wine is an exceptional foil for the fresh brineyness of an oyster.

The winemakers themselves recommend serving this with a simple moules marinières, made with shallots, parsley, thyme, butter and, of course, Muscadet. As you might expect, the match is magnificent.


Martin-Luneau Muscadet “Clisson” 2016
bottle price: $22

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