Muscadet Sur Lie, Domaine de la Pepiere
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- Grape Variety:
- Melon de Bourgogne
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This Muscadet speaks to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean; the wine is refreshing with feather light alcohol and distinct hint of the seaside. The nose bursts with aromas of juicy lemon and stony minerality, while the palate gives crunchy green apples, racy acidity and a subtle savoury edge from time ageing on lees.
In the early 1980’s Marc Ollivier, who was an engineer at the time, decided to move to the country for a slower pace of life. His father owned some vineyards in the cool Atlantic-influenced zone of Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine but was not a winemaker. Marc took over his father’s vineyards and bought a parcel called Clos de Briords from an elderly neighbour. Marc’s first vintage was in 1985 and his primary goal as a winemaker at the time was to simply complete fermentation.
As Marc matured as a winemaker, he experimented with natural yeasts and began bottling with minimal amounts of SO2. The results were extraordinary; the wines showed greater depth, richness and complexity. Encouraged by his success, Marc began transitioning all his vineyards to organic and continued his minimalist approach in the winery.
The domaine's name derives from the French word for thirst (pépie) and Marc's remarkable wines certainly quench the thirst. There are 28 hectares in total and everything is carried out organically. The vines are planted on granitic soil interlaced with plenty of silica which enhances the freshness of the wines. The grapes for this particular Muscadet are from 40 year-old hand-harvested Melon de Bourgogone vines. Fermentation takes place in underground vats lined with ceramic or glass tiles, only natural yeasts are used and lees contact is lengthy (6 months) adding depth and complexity to the wine. Packed with a zesty acidity, this makes for a superb accompaniment to seafood dishes.
A bright lemon-yellow in the glass with flashes of green. Scents of citrus fruits and white blossom. On the palate, clean and fresh with an underlying minerality. Superb acidity. Great food wine. If you are not downing this with a tray of freshly shucked oysters, try with baked fillets of whiting, tuna and haricots blancs gratin or crab soufflé.