From: Loire Valley, France
Varietal: Melon de Bourgogne
Taste: Lively aromas of tart citrus, green apples, and light stone fruit flash across the palate, melding with a salty, earthy minerality and a rich, elegant mouthfeel derived from extended lees contact. In terms of quality, this cru Muscadet from Pallet is top notch and drinks far above its price point; almost like Chablis or an elevated Sylvaner from Alsace or Alto Adige.
Pairing: The saline quality of the wine offers the perfect accompaniment to scallops seared in butter, so for this pairing we’d like to share the following recipe written by Carla Lalli Music for Bon Appetit. Other excellent pairings include serving this alongside oysters, fried/baked/grilled white fish like cod or halibut, grilled shrimp, fish tacos, a homemade green goddess dip with salad and baguette, spring pea risotto or ravioli, and an assortment of dumplings (our favorites include shrimp and scallop dumplings, won tons, shu mai (especially the shrimp and cilantro shu mai), and Xiao long bao).
Seared Scallops with Brown Butter and Lemon Pan Sauce
About. This wine comes from the appellation known as Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, which is named for the two small rivers that flow through this densely planted part of the Pays Nantais, south and east of Nantes. As suggested by its name, the varietal Melon de Bourgogne has roots in Burgundy. However, it spread to the Loire in the Middle Ages and became the dominant variety of the Loire-Atlantique in the 17th century. It is common practice in Muscadet to age Melon on lees, in glass tanks buried in the earth or occasionally in old, neutral barrels.
This aged Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine wine comes from parcels with lots of potential, all located on the territory of the cru vineyard Pallet, located in an especially warm spot on the right bank of the Sèvre. The soils on these parcels are comprised of a complex mix of gabbro, granite and gneiss. The average age of the vines is 25 years old, and integrated viticulture or “lutte raisonnée” is practiced in the vineyard, which means that chemicals are only used when absolutely necessary. The wine was produced by les Vignerons du Pallet: a coop of estate producers in the Pallet commune who work together in a single winemaking facility, and share the goal of turning their vineyards into sustainable, socially responsible businesses.
The choice of wines for this cuvée is based on the search for a harmonious balance between purity, vivacity and character but also richness and elegance. The wine feeds on the lees for more than a year in order to gain in roundness and intensify its aromatic bouquet (too long for the Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine’s traditional sur lie designation but not long enough for Le Pallet’s designation as a cru). This older vintage highlights the complexity that develops with Melon de Bourgogne over time.
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