Wine Time

Wine of the Week: Château La Ragotière

We recently stumbled on the Château de la Ragotière Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2008 in an attempt to find an alternative to our standard Sauvignon Blanc. We wanted something dry and refreshing for under $15, so the wine gurus at Spec's suggested this Loire Valley white.

Being unfamiliar with French white wines, we were hesitant about the Muscadet. Muscadet sounded very similar to Muscat, the sign of a sweet wine. The wine gurus assured us that this wine would not be sweet. We later found out that Muscadet wines are made from 100 percent melon grapes, not muscat grapes.

The Couillaud Brothers are six-generation wine growers, focusing on Muscadets and Chardonnays. The brothers use green harvesting techniques and organic fertilizers on their family vineyards: Château La Ragotière and Château La Morinière. They suggest pairing this particular Muscadet with seafood or white meat.

We had a glass of it by itself one sunny afternoon on the patio. What better way to celebrate one of the few non-rainy days than with a chilled glass of crisp white wine? This light-bodied wine tasted strongly of ripe grapefruit and citrus. It left your mouth feeling clean and refreshed, almost like a palate cleanser.

Wine Enthusiast magazine gave the 2007 vintage a 90 point rating, and the wine appeared on the cover of Wine Spectator magazine. And we know why. This deliciously dry white has become our go-to wine at home. We'll have to try their Chardonnay next.

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Jane Catherine Collins