Domaine du Haut Bourg, 2017 Update

As with my report on the latest wines from Domaine des Herbauges, this tasting report on the wines of Nicolas and Hervé Choblet at Domaine du Haut Bourg casts the spotlight briefly onto the wines of the Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu appellation.

While it does not enjoy the same fame or following as the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation, these domaines (and one or two others) prove that the wines of Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu should not be overlooked. It is not just the good value drinking this domaine offers; it is the very special long lees-aged wines we also find here.

The 2016 Vintage

The quality in 2016 is good, says Nicolas Choblet (pictured below), but the quantity is very low. This was primarily due to frost, and although some others reported problematic mildew Nicolas didn’t find that to be a significant problem.

“We lost 60% of harvest, the damage mainly on the Muscadet parcels rather than our IGP varieties, but all our parcels were affected to some extent. We lost more in 2016 than we have done in any other year, even back in the time of my father and grandfather. They say this is worse even than 1991.”

Muscadet 2015

All the Domaine du Haut Bourg Muscadet vineyards lie close together, close to the Lac de Grandlieu, which perhaps explains why none seemed to have escaped the frost. There was a little mildew in May and June, but nothing Nicolas and Hervé couldn’t deal with, and after June 15th the sun came out and all the worries faded away. After a fine summer picking began in a relaxed fashion on September 19th, a few days later than the average. The yield on the domaine as a whole was 33 hl/ha, although on the Muscadet parcels specifically it was just 20 hl/ha.

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