If ever there were a perfect everyday white wine, it’s Muscadet, and the single-vineyard 2020 Luneau-Papin “L d’Or” is a great example. Muscadet is the name of a region in the Pays Nantais, on the Atlantic coast in western France, where the Loire river meets the sea. The name also refers to the bracingly dry white wine of the same name, made from the grape now known as Melon B (formerly Melon de Bourgogne). Among its many merits, Muscadet is incredibly versatile with food, capable of complexity (all the more reason to stock up on this bottle), and low in alcohol, all of which make it a great everyday wine. Luneau-Papin is known as one of the best producers of Muscadet, and is oft praised for the quality and value of its wines. The “L d’Or” is from the village of Vallet, dominated by granite soils, and was made how most wine in the region is made, with fermentation carried out by natural yeasts, and with fermentation and maturation lasting for seven months on the lees, in underground glass-lined vats, without racking. The wine is bottled in summertime.
For what “L d’Or” tastes like, we’ll defer to a beautiful description from wine writer Richard Hemming: it’s “as refreshing as standing at the end of a pier and feeling the cold Atlantic washing your face. Muscadet is a marine wine, and this cuvée delivers a great gust of sea-breeze salinity. The fruit is tart but not unripe: bright yellow lemon, crisp green apple. After the first wave of flavour, there is a generous shake of dried herbs alongside persistent citrus fruit. It’s utterly delicious.”
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