PV Tasting Notes
Just beginning to develop a pale gold, intriguing nose, barbequed citrus fruits with a strong note of quinine, the mouth presence is powerful and palate staining; floral, concentrated lime juice, mineral and touches of wood, it reminds me of top flight Riesling, but different somehow, more like a presence or a memory. Well, for sure this is an unusual and great wine, the flavours are strongly mineral with touches of Alsatian Riesling petrolium notes being hinted at, the mid palate is citric and chalky adding focus. Having tasted Marc Olliviers wines many times over the past five years, I asked why he had not shown this to me before? “It wasn’t ready” was the reply. My feeling is, it still has some time to go before its fully evolved, maybe another 4 or so years, then how long will it drink well...maybe 5-15 more! For certain, if you have not tasted great Muscadet before, then you should try this, this is a wine to savour over the next 10 plus years, and for virtually no money at all. This is as remarkable an experience in wine drinking from old vines as you can find at any price.
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.