Since 1985 Marc Olivier, proprietor of Pépière, has been producing organically farmed, single-vineyard and single-cru bottlings since before anyone knew what those were let alone what Muscadet was. Melon de Bourgogne, the grape of Muscadet, till this day is rarely grown organically and is generally made into crisp and fresh wines that have simple citrus flavors whose main purpose is to help tourists and locals down platefulls of raw oysters. In Marc's view, Muscadet can be a lot more.In order to achieve this Marc has farmed organically since the beginning. The different plots he chooses are selected for their varying degrees of decomposing granite and gneiss. Vines are old for Muscadet Varying from 20-100 years old and all. All work in the vineyard is done by hand and the yields are kept low to ensure the highest quality fruit. All of these things are rare in Muscadet.Marc's cellar is very cold. The grapes are pressed whole-cluster and that cold cellar allows for a long slow fermentation with natice yeast and very minimal sulfur. Aging is done Sur Lie (on the dead yeast) on large underground tanks. This step is crucial as it increases the texture and complexity of the Melon. The wines are bottled, unfined and unfiltered.Marc's contributions to the reputation of Muscadet are legion. Even though much of what comes out of the region is still produced in an industrial fashion, along with Monique Luneau-Papin, Jo Landron, Guy Bossard and the Luneau-Papins he has inspired more than a few producers to make the switch to a more human centric way of growing and making wine throughout the region and beyond. He has partnered with former protoges Rémi Branger (member of another Muscadet family) and Gwénaëlle Croix over the last decade to help ensure that the high Pépière standard is maintained well into the future.
What importer Bowler Wine has to say about this wine...
100% Melon de Bourgogne. The cru of Château Thébaud came into Pépière world via Marc Ollivier's partner Rémi Branger, whose father farmed two parcels of it for decades. There are 14 hectares of vines--up to 65 years old--on a south-facing, earlier-ripening slope. The soils are of granite de Thébaud, a granite differing from that of Clisson in containing more feldspar and clay--this means more nutrients for the vines, cooler soil temperature, slower ripening, better water retention and a porosity that allows the roots to go deep to the hard granite mother rock. The farming is organic and harvest and all work by hand.As with the rest of the Pepière wines, the fruit is direct-pressed in whole clusters and the juice settled naturally for 12 hours. It is then fermented in stainless steel tanks with natural yeasts; the wine is aged on its lees in large underground vats until bottling without fining or filtering. Thébaud needs longer aging on the lees than any of the other wines, for 3.5 years in the case of the 2012. It is typically the most austere, intensely salty and mineral of the line-up.
Melon de Bourgogne
Loire Valley Wines
The Loire Valley is France’s greatest source of value for anyone looking for elegant, terroir-driven wines. Our collection celebrates the region’s great diversity, with the mineral-driven whites of Muscadet and Sancerre, the beautiful Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Francs from villages like Vouvray and Chinon, and natural wines from everywhere in the region. Sometimes wonderfully fresh and gulpable, sometimes serious and age-worthy, the prices are always very reasonable.