2015 Domaine la Paonnerie Muscadet Coteaux de Loire ‘Rien que Melon’
Region: Pays Nantais < Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Melon de Bourgogne
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic/biodynamic farming, 60-year old vines; grapes are crushed and left for a short time on skins then aged in stainless tanks to ferment and mature for 6 months before bottling; bottled unfined/unfiltered with ZERO added SO2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Agnes and Jacques Carroget
Agnes and Jacques are passionate about producing wines that retain their life and vibrancy. They eschew the use of sulfur, and are biodynamic to the extreme, most recently adding some special friends to assist with vineyard management – two adorable pigs (who get fed baguettes!) now roam the vineyards, eating the weeds and turning over the soil without damaging the soil’s biome. The wine’s name, Rien que Melon, which translates to “nothing but Melon”, is spot-on, as there is nothing in the bottle except for juice from the estate’s pristine Melon de Bourgogne grapes. Though technically they’re in the Muscadet AOC, these wines are very different from the often linear and one-dimensional Muscadet on the market. Because they’re way out on the eastern end of the appellation where the climate is less oceanic, the wines have less of that briny salinity you get in Muscadet, and a touch more body. Also, Jacques doesn’t manipulate the wines at all – so the wines, unlike mo1st Muscadet, do their malolactic thing, which brings a pleasant roundness and texture to the wine. This is a beautiful, pure expression of Melon, crisp, dry and chalky, with lime zest and white flowers. DRINKING NOTE: gather some friends and finish the bottle the same day you open it; this one doesn’t hold up well overnight.