André-Michel Bregéon started making wine in 1975 with just a few hectares of vineyards in the village of Gorges near Clisson, famed for its gabbro bedrock, a rare blue-green volcanic rarely seen in vineyard sites here but similar to granite and the source of the most intense and long lived Muscadets. When Michel's father retired he left him his vineyards and today Michel is farming 7 hectares total in Gorges. Farming here is difficult as the heavy clay topsoils make it difficult to plow so Michel foregoes that and leaves the vegetation on the surface to compete with the vines using very little in the way of natural fertilizers. This allows the roots to grow deep through the fractured bedrock. Short pruning for very low yields are another key to the very high quality here along with hand harvesting in micro parcels into small containers and small, slow pressings to avoid damaging the fruit. The juice is left on the lees (Sur Lie) and only natural yeasts are used for a spontaneous fermentation. No sulfur added at this stage but a tiny bit at bottling.
Michel's Muscadet Sur Lie, usually just referred to as the Gold Label, is a monumental example of this type of Muscadet which is, by AOC law, aged on the lees and bottled between March 1 and November 30 of the year following the harvest. Like all the top growers in the region these days, Michel does let some tanks age longer on the lees, up to 7 or 8 years in some cases, at which point they can no longer carry the Sur Lie appellation and these wines can be stupendous though this bottling is the flagship and the one to judge any domaine by.
Wet stones and candied lemon peel with a whiff of sea breeze and iodine. Bright white fruits on the palate and chalky minerality and dense acidity on the finish. A great everyday white at the very least, perfect with oysters and any lighter seafood, but a pretty serious wine that belongs in your cellar next to your Grand Cru Chablis. Just 36 bottles in stock.