Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Clos de Briords Vieilles Vignes 2007
Clos des Briords is Marc's finest Muscadet. It comes from a single plot of 50-year old vines planted in schist (shale). Marc is the only grower in Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection vine (commonly used to increase yield) in his vineyards. He propagates vines from the bud wood of the existing ones. His wines are kept on the yeast twice as long as those of his neighbors. The resulting wine is an extraordinary Muscadet. This wine has citrus-lime and wet stone aromas. On the palate it has bracing lemon mineral flavors that keep on going.
Right at the edge of Brittany, Domaine de la Pépière is located in the village of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre. Marc, who grew up in the hamlet of La Pépière, created the estate in 1984. The name La Pépière has its root in the word ?pépie?, which means thirst. When you walk above the hamlet, on the slopes where vines are planted, it is easy to understand why the place got that name.
Winemaker Marc Ollivier hand harvests, uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish and bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are in old vines (40 years and older) with a particularly good exposition on a plateau overlooking the river Sèvre. All the vineyards are from original stock: Ollivier is the only grower in the Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection in his vineyards.
The Domaine believes that the quality of a wine depends entirely on the quality of the grapes it was made with. Rémi joined the estate in 2007, and actively worked on the organic conversion of the vines. Gwénaëlle, who came in 2013, has pushed things further with a shift towards bio-dynamic viticulture. It is the complexity of the terroirs of Sèvre et Maine that guides their choices. They are happy to share this diversity with you.
Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.
The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.
The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).
The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.
Made famous in Muscadet, a gently rolling, Atlantic-dominated countryside on the eastern edge of the Loire, Melon de Bourgogne is actually the most planted grape variety in the Loire Valley. But the best of it comes from Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, a subzone west of the city of Nantes, which is part of the larger Pays Nantais.
The name might suggest this grape is from Burgundy—and indeed its origins are Burgundian. But while history shows it is the progeny of Pinot and Gouais blanc, it was continuously outlawed from Burgundy, just like Gamay, at various times during the 16th and 17th centuries.
In the Glass
Muscadet wine is full of fresh acidity and has smoky and saline aromas with some floral character; flavors are of green pear, lemon and honeysuckle. Since the mid 1980s, winemakers have been successfully experimenting with various winemaking techniques including barrel fermentation, lees stirring and pre-fermentation skin contact to make a more complex wine.
Try Muscadet with any light and flaky fish, oysters, roasted chicken, root vegetables and fondue.
The wine itself is called Muscadet, and while suggestive of “muscat,” the wine is not related to any Muscat variety.