Muscadet Crus Communaux Retrospective, 2019
Gorges & Monnières-Saint-Fiacre

In the second part of this retrospective tasting looking at four of the most commonly encountered crus communaux (whether ratified, or still in the ‘prototype’ stage) of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation, I come now to look at a selection of wines from Gorges and Monnières-Saint-Fiacre (see part one for my review and tasting notes on Clisson and Château-Thébaud).


Along with Clisson, Gorges is one of my favourites among all the ratified and proposed crus communaux. The cru is largely focused on the commune of Gorges, and it directly abuts the Clisson cru in the centre-south-east part of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine vineyard. In terms of terroir, however, it is dramatically different. The vineyards of Gorges are planted on slopes overlooking the Sèvre and its numerous small tributaries such as the Ruisseau de Chaintreau and the Ruisseau de la Margerie. The defining terroir here is gabbro, a rock rich in olivine, a magnesium-iron-silicate mineral, sometimes in its original ‘native’ form, sometimes altered and degraded. In parts the rock can be mixed with gravel-clay components, in others it is covered by wind-blown sediments. Of note there is also clay here in parts, an uncommon finding in the generally sandy Muscadet vineyard.

Muscadet Crus Communaux Gorges & Monnières-Saint-Fiacre

For me the defining feature of a wine from Gorges is a fine-boned minerality, the wines showing confidence but with a more filigree style than the wines from granite terroirs. As with Clisson and Château-Thébaud the maximum permitted yield is 45 hl/ha, and in the cellars the minimum élevage after the fermentation is 24 months, on the lees of course. As with Clisson, for more detail, see my Guide to the 2011 Crus Communaux. In this report I feature six wines from five domaines, including Domaine Brégeon, Damien Rineau at La Tour Gallus, Domaine de la Cornulière and others.

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