- The Washington Times - Monday, February 23, 2004

Domaine de la Bartardiere, Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine, 2002, $9.

Muscadet is a simple and, to be frank, often innocuous white wine made from grapes grown near the city of Nantes on France’s Atlantic coast. Its chief claim to fame comes from its supposed affinity with seafood, although most renditions taste almost too neutral.

Every once in a while, however, a Muscadet comes along that displays nuanced elegance. Domaine de la Bartardiere’s 2002 does just that. Its bright citrus fruit flavors are enhanced by a distinct minerality, with a toasty undertone acquired from extended aging on the spent yeast. Clean and fresh, it tastes surprisingly sophisticated. Muscadet just doesn’t get much better.

Dry and light, this wine could easily be overwhelmed by hearty foods. So drink it with delicate dishes that will allow it to reveal its multiple charms. Oysters on the half-shell or sauteed Dover sole would be perfect. (Imported by Diageo Chateau & Estate.)

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