92 points Wine Enthusiast
"Gneiss is a dense, igneous rock found in pockets in the Muscadet region. It gives a tight texture to the wines, as here. Produced from organically grown grapes, this wine is packed with great acidity from the apple and lemon flavors. Drink the wine now." *Best Buy*
Vinous Reverie Notes
“I bet that each advanced sommelier would love these wines, since there is nothing better with Atlantic or Pacific fish and seafood, at least not at these prices.” ~ Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate
Granite rock was used for centuries to build the massive fortresses that dot the landscape of Muscadet. Its density and structure were rarely breached by arrow, cannonball, or the good ‘ole medieval siege. Because of its density and the fact that it is everywhere in Muscadet, its unclear why anyone would think that this was the place to plant hectares and hectares of vines. That’s what riverbeds are for, right?
Well, the Romans might have gotten a few things wrong in France (see the 1st century BC through the 5th century AD for reference) but they did get something right: they planted a ton of grapevines on this lunar rock of a landscape. Today, this area is called Muscadet and is home to over 8,000 hectares of vines of Melon de Bourgogne.
Famille Lieubeau farms over 40 hectares of vines and produces both Muscadet Sèvre et Maine and Vin de Pays. The vines are planted on rock, and in most cases, sheer cliffs of rock through which the roots have to bury for meters for any hydric source. The vines, and the wines, are fed by water that is awash in wet rock. It’s not a big shock that the wines smell and taste more like rock and minerals than fruit or flowers. Combine this with the cold Atlantic breezes and you’ve got an amazing cool climate, high cut, precise bottle of white wine. The family takes great care to vinify the wines according to exposition, density of granite, and harvest date. All of their Melon is now certified organic by Agriculture Biologique. They keep yields as low as possible to produce wines that express the varietal character and terroir – not just acid. These are delicious, vibrant wines that are easily among the best values in the portfolio.