There are three regional appellations of Muscadet sur lie that undergo maturing on lees: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu, and Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire. Together these three appellations form the core of Muscadet wines.
Matured for at least six months on lees, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine wines perfectly reveal their invaluable terroirs. They are structured wines with a good deal of minerality; these characteristics are complemented by fullness, depth and aromas of warm or damp pebbles, depending on the soils on which each wine is grown. The best vintages offer excellent aging potential.
Recognized in 1936, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine is one of France’s oldest AOCs. It is the largest regional appellation of the Nantes wine region in terms of surface area and production volume, with 6400 hectares (15,808 acres) and 425 winegrowers. Located between the Sèvre and the Maine, the two last tributaries of the Loire before it reaches the ocean. Its soils—composed of gneiss, orthogneiss, granite, schist and gabbro—offer great diversity.
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Muscadet’s crus communaux are the best wines that the Nantes wine region has to offer. Complex with excellent aging potential, Muscadet’s crus communaux are a perfect choice for fine dining. While the young vintages are lively and delightful, it is upon aging that these wines reveal their opulence: they are the great wines of Val de Loire.
Produced from low-yield grapevines and the result of long maturing on lees—a minimum of eighteen to twenty-four months—these wines reveal the exceptional nature of the subsoil of their outstanding terroirs. Muscadet’s ten crus communaux are cultivated on two hundred hectares (494 acres) of vineyard by one hundred winegrowers. Each cru communal has its own personality, a reflection of its singular terroir, that expresses itself distinctly upon tasting.
The wines of Monnières-Saint Fiacre are fleshy and creamy in texture, with a subtle yet refreshing touch of bitterness at the finish. They deliver aromas of citrus fruit, orange blossom and exotic fruit, often combined with balsamic notes like wax or honey.
A succession of hills rising along the left bank of the Sèvre and a series of knolls rising along its tributaries, Monnières-Saint Fiacre is located at the heart of the region’s crus communaux where manors known as “folies nantaises” and remains of old windmills border the Sèvre. The silty, sandy soils on these steep slopes are fine in texture and moderately deep, with a higher concentration of clay in the alterites formed of decomposed gneiss.