Muscadet – André-Michel Brégeon

André-Michel Brégeon

André-Michel Brégeon

It is tremendously difficult to explain the utter brilliance of Michel Brégeon’s Muscadets. There is of course the unique terroir, an outcrop of gabbro amidst the gneiss and granite, farmed by hand and with heart. The vines take after him — fully mature, with the ailments of advanced age, but still sprightly and productive, happiest in the sun. Then there is the subtle genius of his cellar craft, an unerring intuition paired with accreted experience.

Amongst others, we tasted a magnificent 2004, still in tank and on its lees, fresh and already complex. The final cuve of 2009, a smoky distillate of minerals, will be bottled when it’s ready. A bottle of the 1998 was far too young, strikingly pure and razor-sharp, as was its younger and more precocious sibling from 1999. The mousseux (in picture) was perfect on a clear winter afternoon, sweet fruit with a saline backbone, as dry as his wit.

We regret that we won’t have any of his wines in the next few months, but we are content to wait patiently. In a world which seemingly deifies the nanosecond, it is good to pause and listen to a wise old man try (and fail) to explain how he makes such beautiful wines.

Sometimes, words fail all of us.

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