In the Nantais, where the mouth of the Loire River meets the Atlantic, the Melon de Bourgogne grape reigns supreme. The Choblet family first planted their vines at Domaine du Haut Bourg in 1945, in what would become the Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu appellation in 2009. Over the years, the family expanded the property to 42 hectares of vineyards. Today, three generations later, brothers Hervé and Nicolas Choblet handle every aspect of the winemaking together, from vine to bottle. The Côtes de Grandlieu are situated southwest of Nantes, close to both the ocean and the Loire River. The microclimate is as temperate as it gets in France, with very little fluctuation between day and night, allowing the grapes to ripen early. The soils here are composed of sandy mica-schist and granite, with much less schist than in the other Muscadet appellations. All of these conditions play important roles in creating wines of subtle richness and salinity, making them excellent candidates for cellar aging. The Choblets incorporate some organic regimens into their sustainable farming practice.
The grapes are harvested at the optimal ripeness and are pressed gently in whole clusters by pneumatic press. The Choblets allow the must to settle for 48 hours at a low 13°C. The alcoholic fermentation begins from here, and temperatures are kept at a steady range of 18°C to 20°C, with the goal of enhancing the aromatics and lending balance to the final wines. Over the winter, the wines age on their lees in their underground vats until they are bottled unfiltered in March. These are classic Muscadets—racy and briny while at the same time opulent and full-bodied.
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