Saturday, September 24, 2011

**+ $$ Delhommeau Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie Cuvee Harmonie, 2007, France - Wine Review and Rating

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Original review, May, 2009: The Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie Cuvee Harmonie - as its name implies - is made "sur lie"; that is, resting on its spent yeast cells and regularly stirred. This tends to add a body and creaminess to white wines.

Also, don't confuse the "muscadet" wine with the "muscat" grape. The former - muscadet wine - is a grape typically originating from the Loire valley of France, made into dry white wine. It is actually made of the melon de bourgogne grape. The name itself relates to the word "musky", considered to be an element of the wine's character.

The Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie Cuvee Harmonie, 2007, shows in the glass as a light, creamy vanilla color. Served cool, upon swirling, the Harmonie shows a modest nose of crisp pear and apple, with a touch of wet slate and grass. On the palate, a fuller mid-palate is the first thing you notice, bringing a touch of funk with the riper apple elements. There is a crispness, a light acidity with the corresponding cheek-puckering, some roundness. What I do not find is a furthering of the slate element that was present on the nose. That was a bit of disappointment.

I don't think I would find my way back to this white; I do believe better, more intriguing values are to be had at the price. Nonetheless, I'll add a plus to its two stars because of its good balance of elements.

Wine Advocate awarded 90 points, saying, "The 2007 Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie Cuvee Harmonie is scented with pear, quince, and lime - almost as if a bit of Chenin had been blended in. With real depth of nut oil richness, orchard fruit, and saline, savory minerality, this polished Muscadet generously saturates the palate, clings, and at the same time refreshes. Enjoy it anytime over the next two years."
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Updated review, over two years later, September, 2011:  Deep vanilla now in the glass, with a hint of gold.  Softer pear and apple on the nose.  Still a full mouthfeel, with sound surrounding acids playing off the light butterscotch and peach flavor tones.  Now reaches three stars and is a wine I'd return to.  I like the underlying minerality that is beginning to show through.  Worth the extra time in bottle. 

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Interestingly, grew more subtle both in aromas and palate. 

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