PV Tasting Notes
Drinking a 1992 Muscadet in 2011, surely not… but this makes a mockery of consuming these wines early and is a fabulously fresh Muscadet which has aged like a great Riesling developing some touches of petroleum on the way, it smells of flint, bright lime citrus and herb exhibiting classic Alsatian characteristics of peach, buttery apple, rose petal and hints of liquorice with real terroir character, medium body still very well focused and a long dry finish, it should keep for another 5 years or so.Independent Review
Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie Clos des Briords 1992: Sadly the first bottle was musty, initially suggestive of rot or something else very dirty - it wasn't simple cork taint, but in truth I'm not sure what. There were, however, some appealing aromas and flavours swirled around this disconcerting character. Nevertheless I moved on; the second bottle, thankfully, showed a much cleaner character, although it also seemed tighter and less giving than the first. In the glass the wine has a lemon gold, vibrant appearance, with just a hint of green. The nose has a complex array of aromas, starting off with just a little liquorice. It soon morphs into a captivating style with elements of iced melon, rosemary, and stone fruit. Fresh, richly acidic, fairly weighty and yet still very fresh on the palate, this has a very good, food-friendly, crisply defined style. Slightly bitter, with punchy grapefruit character, supple flesh beneath and a dry finish, this is a wine that certainly has some challenging aspects, although I enjoy it all the more for that. And I suspect there is still a lot of development to come here. On the whole, a very good wine. For label images and more see my Wine of the Week write-up. 17+/20 (August 2009)
The “Clos des Briords” is 3 ha of 60 years-old vines situated on the granite soils of the Coteaux de la Maine.
The harvest is manual and the grapes are delicately pressed. The must is naturally fermented (no yeast or sugar added) at 19?C during one month. The cuvée will lie 7 months on its lees, without stirring.
Total production 1 500 cases made.
A few years ago, I introduced to the UK Market Marc Ollivier and his World Class Wines..... I wrote
So much has been written about Marc Ollivier of Domaine de la Pépière, long regarded as “the Legend” of the Muscadet producers, when Marc is on form, and he has been for a very long time, these hand crafted wines are of World Class quality, this heroic vigneron does in Muscadet with old vines, granite soils and low yield what others can only dream of in much more seriously expensive appellations. All of Marc’s wines are the authentic item, not only are they delicious young, but can age for 10, 20 and even 30 years. An astonishing achievement for white wines of any price bracket but these beauties are what can only be described as selling for virtually a song.
Muscadet is certainly one of the great underrated wine regions of France and quite possibly the most complex, age worthy white wine you can purchase for sub £10, all of Marc’s wines are left in contact with the lees until the time of bottling, something of a rarity now as most winemakers rush to bottle their wines as soon as possible. Whilst many boring Muscadet examples on the market are technically correct with producers using starter yeasts to accelerate fermentation together with other techniques to finish their wines early, they mostly lack the heart and soul of the Domaine de la Pépière wines. All Pépière wines are hand harvested, another rarity of the region, uses only natural yeast and waits patiently until the wines are ready. This extended contact with the lees provides extra flavour, body and a crispness that makes Muscadet so refreshing, and of course the classic match to seafood together with the perfect choice for Sushi.
The Pépière vineyards range from 40 to 80 years of age, Marc Ollivier is the only grower of the region who does not have a single clonal selection in his vineyards, which are located on a plateau overlooking the river Sèvre. Because of the soil and greater concentration achieved with through lower yielding old vines, his are more powerful wines than most other Muscadet. They are very mineral and quite austere in their youth, rather than fruity and light. Over a few months, or even years, if one can wait for it, they develop much complexity in aromatics and structure. So if you’re on a quest to find some interesting wines that aren’t over extracted, over oaked, over produced and over-priced, do work wonderfully with food, do resemble the very best selections of the region, lower in alcohol and are affordable for frequent enjoyment, then perhaps our selection of Pépière Muscadet are the choice for you, as quite a few of our regular clients are finding out.