Today is Muscadet day and we went to one of the best. I selected our one winery visit to Muscadet months ago and just last week in my favorite wine column in the NY Times, Eric Asimov wrote about Muscadet and the winery we are going to visit was one of the top wines.
Domaine de la Pépière is owned by 3 people and we were greeted by Gwénaelle Croix, one of the owners.
Her winery is the antithesis of a polished spick and span winery designed to greet tourists. but what
wines! If you were not a Muscadet lover before the visit,you quickly became one as the visit progressed.
Pépière was founded by Marc Olivier in 1984 who converted the farm previously planted with Folle Blanche to Melon de Bourgogne.
No one know the meaning of the word Muscadet, but Pépière comes from the Old French ‘thirsty’ because water was scarce in the hot months.
The 3 partners analyzed the terroir and found different soils, but no limestone. The winery has 40 hectares, 37 dedicated to Melon de Bourgogne and the balance to red grapes. They produce 200,000 bottles annually.
Only natural yeast is used and fermentation takes place in glass-lined concrete tanks, some subterranean. This allows maximum exposure to the lees, or dead yeast. Some of their wines can age 10/20 years.
Our tasting: Muscadet sur lie 2017 (the wine mentioned in the NYT article), a classic cuvée with a blend of terrors along the Maine River, faint floral aroma, typical of Muscadet with salinity, aged 9 months; Briords 2017, made from 60/70 year old vines, single vineyard, more aromatic- I detected chamomile; Le Gras Mouton 2017, from a different soil, modest citrus aroma, it takes your breadth away with its acidity; Chateau-Thébaud 2015, received 2.5 years aging, this is a cru Muscadet, one of the best vineyard sites, deep yellow color, more fruity and aromatic, like butterscotch; Cuvée Eden 2004, deep yellow color, honey and nut aromas and flavors, served from a magnum.