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|Château de la Gravelle (France) Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2000
I know that name is a real mouthful, but all the clues are there that this is a good quality Muscadet: Sèvre et Maine is the small area of this western Loire Valley region that generally makes good quality wines, and "sur lie" tells you that this wine has gone through a process of being aged on the "lees", or spent yeast cells after fermentation which can enrich these sometimes rather thin wines. It is always a pleasure to drink and recommend a good Muscadet - surely one of the white wine world's most underappreciated styles. This has a charming, delightfully nutty nose of almond, pear and straw, with just a hint of honey and wild flowers. On the plate a little prickle of sparkle creates a zesty, crisp, wonderfully juicy and fresh impression, with quite fat lemony fruit and more hints of nutty richness. Long and beautifully balanced, this was sensational with moules marinière and crusty bread.