Staying Power

Bargain summer whites that stick around past Labor Day

Muscadet–a crisp French white from the western Loire Valley–has long been a summertime favorite thanks to its inexpensive, crowd-pleasing, warm-weather-loving nature.

Come fall, however, we've typically parted ways with our summer love, as most Muscadet bottles are meant to be drunk young.

But now a few producers are approaching the Melon de Bourgogne grape with another intention: making single-vineyard wines worth aging. And the results–most in the $15 to $30 range–are arguably the best bargains in age-worthy French whites.

Keep an eye out for these three producers, which are breaking the Muscadet mold by bottling wines that are as primed for the patio as they are for the cellar.

Domaines Landron Organic producer Jo Landron makes a series of superb Muscadet, but his le Fief du Breil is built for longevity (find it online).

Domaine de l'Ecu Winemaker Guy Bossard labels his biodynamic wines according to the primary mineral present in the soil in which the grapes grew, such as the Expression de Granite (find it online).

Domaine Luneau-Papin This historic estate, planted in the 18th century, is known for hand-harvested, old-vine wines (find it online).