FEATURED: Bottled Elegance from Pépière
Today’s featured wine is Domaine de la Pépière, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Clisson, 2017.
“The paradox of weight and vibrancy combined that is waiting to be discovered in (Pépière’s) Clisson cuvée has to be tasted to be believed.” - Chris Kissack, Winedoctor.com
The Muscadets of Domaine de la Pépière are some of the greatest dry whites in the Loire. They are true vins-de-gardes of terroir expression—and they are great values, too.
This reputation is the result of three-plus decades of extremely hard work by vigneron Marc Ollivier. In the 1980s, while most of his peers were producing overcropped, machine-harvested, chemically-farmed wines of little consequence, Marc was blazing the path towards more terroir-focussed methods. It was not long before he was farming organically, limiting yields, and focusing on site-specific expressions – a gradual process, but way ahead of its time. Denyse, Louis and Joe Dressner saw the potential, and the immense skill and tapped Pépière as their first import from the Loire Valley.
Over time, a house style emerged. The wines are generally not quite as rich and round as those from Luneau-Papin, nor are they as pointedly mineral and tightly wound as the wines of Bregeon. Pépière wines are subtle, complex and poised. In a word: gorgeous. And they age incredibly well, too.
Of the half-dozen or so cuvées they make, Clisson is among the longest-lived. And, despite its saturation of flavor and weight, Clisson abounds in elegance. It's a complete wine, and insanely affordable for how good it is.
Marc is now set to retire. The domaine has been placed in the expert hands of Rémi Branger and Gwénaëlle Croix, both of whom have worked at the estate for many years. The 2017 Clisson comes from a very good vintage, and one of the last under Marc’s explicit guidance.
It's one to drink now, sure. But, we recommend it to lay down too, if you have the space. This is a perfect candidate for the Reasonable Cellar. It will be a too-rare treat, a few years from now, to open up a bottle and enjoy the fruits of Marc's hard and devoted work. Please click below to email us your order.
This comes from a single vineyard of 40 year-old vines planted on granite-dominated soils, which lend the wine a uniquely dense texture and assertive, smoky minerality—almost like smoked oyster shells!