In-the-Know Wine Lovers Love Pépière (And Clisson's Granite Goodness)
"Pépière's wines exhibit timeless qualities, with remarkable texture and tension, making them ideal for prolonged aging... This is an excellent rendition of the Clisson terroir."
—Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate
Those in the know will tell you that Muscadet is a land of amazing terroir, old vines and devoted vignerons working for love more than lucre. And that it can very much be a wine worth hunting out, aging, decanting, and serving with the best foods to your foodiest friends.
There are plenty of Muscadets around to drink without contemplation, with or without the classic oysters. But more serious Muscadets are great wines of terroir, wines that, with age, will show more and more of their sense of place. And the best of these wines are still totally reasonably priced.
What makes Clisson so great? First, it helps to know that the wine used to be called "Le Granite de Clisson". This is a wine of capital-T terroir. It's minerally, age-worthy stuff that tastes like the earth it comes from. "Clisson" is a sub-region within Muscadet recognized for that soil. Pepiere's example is particularly terroir transparent, thanks at least in part to the age of the vines — they were planted nearly a century ago, in 1929. This is serious old vine goodness.
Muscadet, where the Loire River meets the Atlantic, is a tough region to farm. Weather throws pretty much everything at the vines: frost, hail, disease (and more frost). But a small group of devoted growers work to preserve the ancient vines and share the phenomenal wines, working (and waiting) for the day when the world finally gives them their due. Pépière's vines are farmed biodynamically by Rémi Branger and Gwénaëlle Croix, and the wine is made by hand by these devoted vignerons.
The circle of folks in the know is getting a little bigger every vintage. It wasn't too long ago that no major publications even reviewed these wines. Today, they get top scores from The Wine Advocate (see below) and top restaurants feature them on their lists. But the value is still remarkable and we hope you'll take advantage of today's special discount.
Domaine de la Pépière, Clisson, 2020 $31.99
"Matured 24 months on the lees, the 2020 Clisson from Domaine de la Pépière reveals a complex and mineral bouquet with aromas of licorice, spices, lemon oil and white fruits. Medium-bodied, crystalline and mineral-driven, it’s pure and clean with a delicate texture and an energetic mid-palate, marked on the finish by bright, racy acids that interweave with an impressive bitterness. This is an excellent rendition of the Clisson terroir. 92" (Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate)
*Here's a service note: the wine is tasty as soon as you open it, but if you can decant it for an hour or three before you serve it you'll be in for something really special.
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