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Loire 2019: Muscadet at Nouvel Ancrage, 2021

Loire 2019: Muscadet at Nouvel Ancrage

This is a companion piece to my recent tasting of wines in the 2020 vintage in the Muscadet region. In that report I provide a detailed overview of the state of play in Muscadet today, together with a report on the 2020 vintage, as well as opinions, notes and scores on 39 wines from the 2020 vintage. These wines were all tasted at Nouvel Ancrage, an annual event hosted by the Fédération des Vins de Nantes at Château de la Frémoire, on the outskirts of Nantes. If you have a long memory, you may recall that as well as my notes on the 2020s, I also published notes on 31 Crus Communaux wines, tasted the same day.

After tasting those wines I moved on to look at similar but smaller selections from the 2019, 2018 and older vintages. These are all wines selected by the Fédération to be their Ambassadeurs, wines which the Fédération will showcase at tastings and events throughout the year. I am proceeding to publish these notes in a sequence of short reports, beginning here with the 2019 vintage.

The 2019 Vintage

Briefly, the 2019 vintage was frosted, with vignerons in the Nantais reporting significant losses. In many cases between 30% and 50% of the crop was lost, although as always it varied from domaine to domaine, and from parcel to parcel. The weather flipped in May; there was a late frost on May 5th, but by the time I arrived in the Loire Valley later that month the temperatures were sweltering, and there was an explosion in vegetative growth. There then followed a long period of warm and dry weather, very similar to that seen in 2018 and 2020, enough for some vines to suffer hydric stress.

Muscadet 2019

The harvest in Muscadet kicked off in early September, so not a super-early August harvest as has been seen in some other recent vintages. The weather held throughout, so the fruit was very healthy when it arrived at the cellar door. The style of the wines tends to reflect these warm beginnings, although I have often found an appealing sense of freshness in the 2019 vintage which sets it apart from 2018, and that seems to comes across in at least some of the wines tasted here.

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