Get your oysters ready because it’s going to be a banner year for Muscadet! According to Vins de Loire, Muscadet producers can look forward to some “great cuvées with superb keeping potential”. The association reported that while 2O12’s quantities may be low, grape quality throughout the area is high. Earlier in the year crop levels were already being predicted by late spring, due to a messy mix of weather conditions, including a cold, rainy April and May. The cold spring hit vine development, which fell behind schedule. However, unseasonably low temperatures in the Nantais played a major part in staving off the diseases that often cause problems in the naturally humid environment. Flowering began in early June and July temperatures remained chilly, but the rain held off and veraison officially started on July 17. August was hot and dry from the start. Although it was clear by then that harvest levels would be low, the leaf-to-fruit ratio was excellent, limiting the incidence of mildew, ensuring it posed no threat to quality. September was fine, giving the grapes a chance to ripen to perfection. The Ban des Vendanges – the official start of harvest – was proclaimed on September 17. All in all, grape quality ranges from “very good to excellent, and the juice is beautifully concentrated”. Sugar content is high and balanced by ripe, crisp acidity.