Estate: Located in the village of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre, at the edge of Brittany, Domaine de la Pépière was founded by La Pépière native Marc Ollivier in 1984. Regarded as a visionary, Marc grew his estate over the years from 7 to 42 hectares with the purpose of acquiring diverse terroirs. He pioneered vinifying vineyard parcels separately in Muscadet [a practice not common in the region at the time.] Today, half of his vineyards are within the most prestigious crus of Muscdet.
Marc officially retired from winemaking in 2019, handing the reins of the estate to his partners Rémi Branger and Gwénaëlle Croix. The duo actively worked alongside Marc since 2007 and 2013, respectively. Organic and biodynamic methods are used in the vineyards and cellar. For more details, check out their producer page over at Bowler Wine.
Philosophy: “From our beginnings, our only goal has been to express Muscadet’s terroir under all its different guises.”
Winemaking: Grapes are from the Gras Moutons parcel, with vines 20-60 years in age. Gras Moutons translates to ‘fat sheep’ and is located on the south facing slope at the top of a hill overlooking the Maine River, with clay and silica soils over gneiss and amphibolite rocks. “Grapes are harvested manually then carried to the wine cellar which much care. The pneumatic press is filled by gravity, the grapes are not crushed. There is a very light must settling then the juice is pumped into an underground vat for one to two months without any yeast addition. The wine is matured for 9 months on its fermentation lees with a few stirrings of the lees.” Note: Most of the grapes at Gras Moutons were lost to frost in 2016; producers in the area reported 50-90% of their grapes destroyed.
Tasting Notes: Gold in colour, with aromas of yellow apple, lemon, sea spray and a trace of brioche. Lemon, a squeeze of mandarin orange and saline minerality are accented by tangy acidity. Herbs and lemon linger on the creamy, mineral driven finish. Creamy, bright and fresh.
100% Melon de Bourgogne
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine AOC
$20 [average price]