What is Muscadet?

July 16, 2019

What is Muscadet?

Muscadet comes from the Nantes region in the Loire Valley and produces light, crispy white wines from Melon de Bourgogne grapes. Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine, named after two small rivers which flow to the south and east of Nantes, produces most of the higher quality Muscadet which you will see labelled as Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie. 

Because the Melon de Bourgogne grape is not exactly flavour-packed, often described as ‘’neutral’, many winemakers leave the fermented wine on the lees ‘’sur lie’’ for several months in order to add a bit more character and body into the wine.

The wine went out of fashion in the 90s and lots of vineyards have been abandoned but now it’s back and it presents amazing quality and value for money!

One of our favourite producers is Domaine des Cognettes whose wines we have been importing for years and we love them.  The Perraud family has been making Muscadet for six generations, with brothers Vincent and Stéphane taking over the estate in 1990. Their 28 hectares are in and around the village of Clisson, one of the area’s designated ‘crus’ and considered by many to be the finest terroir for growing Melon de Bourgogne. Farming is certified organic since 2009 and they use very little SO2 and intervene as little as they can. The vineyard work is to respect the biodiversity, the vines, soil and terroir. Grapes are picked by hand before arriving at the press. Once natural fermentation is completed, the wine rests in stainless steel tanks on its lees. 

1) Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Sur Lie Organic Selection des Cognettes 2018 (£11.49) 

Floral, herbal nose, citrus fruit and fresh acidity on the palate with round mouthfeel due to the 6 months on lees. Good saline minerality at the end that conjures up images of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Delicious! 

Try it with oysters and other seafood for a classic match. Or drink it on its own!

2) Domaines des Cognettes Organic Clisson 2014 (£17.25)

The big-gun of the Cognettes stable comes from Clisson, one of the Cru Vineyards. 43 months on lees and some extremely old vines produce an intensely textured wine full of minerality, peach and stone with good acidity. This is a study in what Muscadet can achieve, capable of ageing well beyond 15 years.

If you would like to explore our full range of Muscadet wines click on the link below:


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