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People think of Muscadet as a refreshing summer wine, and yes, it's cold and damp in New York these days, but if you're serving oysters, shellfish, any mildly flavored fish dish, white meats or roast chicken for dinner - or enjoying some goat or sheep cheeses - then it's time for Muscadet!
This email features the arrival of the superb 2021 Domaine de la Pépière "Les Gras Moutons!"
Our note from the first vintage of "Les Gras Moutons" in 2009: "Marc Ollivier's new parcel in the excellent Gras Moutons vineyard gives him a new version of his Cuvée Eden. On gneiss subsoil, this is a different, somewhat softer and lighter style than Marc's granite wines, Clos des Briords and Granite de Clisson, showing good acidity and wet stone with citrus peel, lime flower and white fruits. Superbly elegant, this wine will benefit from three to five years in the cellar." The 2021 is a beautiful wine, with a bit of extra ripeness due to the very low yields in this frost-damaged vintage. There is very little of the 2021 available, however, so smart shoppers should grab a case today!
We're very happy to have received small additional quantities of the very great Domaine de la Pépière 2019 Cru Communal "Gorges" and "Clisson" - these rather profound Muscadets will need a long decant if drinking now, best to wait 10 to 15 years to enjoy them as they reach maturity - drink them until 2043 and beyond...
Three of our favorite Muscadets from granit terroirs round out todays offer - the lovely 2021 Domaine de la Pépière "Briords" (42 botlles are left), the superb and age-worthy 2020 Luneau-Papin "L'd'Or" and the crystalline and elegant Bregeonnette 2020 "Clos Coudray."
"Today Rémi and Gwénaëlle continue Marc’s work; taste their wines in order to open your eyes to what a varied and interesting wine region Muscadet really is." - thewinedoctor.com
All wines discount 10% on a case or mixed case - Wines arrive Thursday, Jan 12 please allow a few days before pick-up or shipping.
(Arrives 5/23) Les Gras Moutons is a great parcel on gneiss, in layers that permit a deep penetration by the vines, with sandy clay and amphibolite stones. The vines are at the top of a hill and on the south facing slope overlooking the Maine. (The name, by the way, does not refer to fat sheep, despite their presence on the label, but rather in local dialect, to the hilltop vineyard site.) This terroir produces lovely, classic Muscadet to drink over the next 5 to 8 years."It has a more perfumed and precise style than the granite cuvées (in 2021), although the wafting aromatics of crushed chalk and white peach feel familiar. The palate has a nice tension though, with a polished richness countered by a chalky oyster-shell freshness, with a white-peach purity. It is pervaded by a fine grip, with firm phenolics, and modest acidity."(winedoctor)
(Arrives 5/23) We're ecstatic to have another vintage of this superb new Muscadet from Pépière. The product of an exchange of juice with Fred Lailler at Domaine Bregeon from a tiny parcel of old vines on Gabbro bedrock with clay rich in quartz. The wine undergoes a slow fermentation and is then aged 36 months on the lees. (Marc Ollivier considers this a favorite of Pepiere's bottlings, along with the Château-Thébaud.) The 2019 Gorges is a complex, dense and beautifully structured wine, with a bit more brightness and acidity than than the superb 2015. The Gabbro terroir brings unique aromas showing almond, smoke and petrol notes in addition to stone, pear, quince and mushroom. The palate is dense and intensely mineral with ripe pear and quince, earth, almond, anise and citrus notes, with stone, lemon peel and white fruits lingering in the very long finish. If drinking young please give the wine a lengthy decant to release the unique character of this wine - best to wait at least 5 - 6 years before opening, then enjoy until 2042 and beyond. David Lillie
(Arrives Wed 3/14) First produced in 1988, this great Muscadet is made from a three hectare parcel of old massale-selection vines (all over 60 years old, with a high percentage much older) on a slope above the Maine. The bedrock is Granite de Château Thébaud, a fissured rock that allows the vines to penetrate deeply, with ideal thin topsoils of clay, with sand and gravel allowing good drainage. "We had a very small harvest following the spring frost of 2021. This severe frost had two consequences: few bunches being present on the vine, it had no stress or problem "feeding" these grapes. The other important point is that the frost created a long delay in the growth of vegetation. In 2021 the harvest started late on September 16 - If it hadn't been for this frost, the harvest would probably have started at the end of August. For all the wines, and in particular Briords, this translates into a slower maturity of the grapes allowing a greater conversation of acidities (lower acidity in the finished wine). In the end, the Briords 2021 is, in our eyes, a very nice vintage qualitatively but which we do not wish to have again because quantitatively it is very, very tiny!" Gwénaëlle and Rémi. Indeed, the 2021 Briords shows aromas that are a bit riper than usual - very elegant pear, stone, almond and citrus. The palate shows a bit less weight than the 2020, but still has a beautiful core of minerals and firm acidity below subtle pear, apple, lemon, stone and earth flavors, with a bright, scintillating finish. Our advice is to drink the beautiful and more forward 2021, while waiting (another 5 to 10 years) for the 2020 to develop. David Lillie
2020 is another excellent vintage for the Luneau-Papin "L" d'Or in a ripe, dense style but with a bit more brightness than the 2019 that makes it a superb Muscadet for current drinking and medium-term aging as well. The wine shows a fairly ripe gold color and complex aromas that are a great combination of ripeness and vibrant acidity, including pear, almond, stone, citrus and exotic fruit with anise and herbs. The palate is dense and long with ripe yellow and white fruits, almond and marzipan, really delicious, with the wine's unique granitic acidity hidden below, the sapid fruit. The wine remains a good candidate for aging - it's Luneau-Papin's only cuvee on a granite subsoil (granit a deux micas in Vallet) having a different character than the granite soils in Clisson or Chateau Thebaud. The vines are approximately 50 years old and and are farmed with organic and biodynamic methods. Vintages going back to 1989 of the L d'Or are superb now, but this very young 2020 would be perfect today with full-flavored fish dishes such as halibut and monkfish or with lobster and even white meats in sauce. David Lillie
Stéphane Orieux's father Joseph converted the estate to organic agriculture back in 1967, and Stéphane has continued the great vineyard work of this father. Clos de la Coudraye is a one hectare parcel in Vallet on granite subsoil with very old vines. The 2020 spent 18 months sur-lie before bottling. It's a lovely wine with ripe high-toned aromas of lemon confit, melon, dried herbs, white pepper and pear, a hint of smoke; the palate is dense and crystalline, a bit fresher than the 2018, with stone, saline, citrus, pear and anise flavors, with a lovely, creamy texture and meyer lemon and oyster shell in the finish, framed in firm acidity. A delicious classic Muscadet from granite soils, drink now or hold for 10 to 15 years. (A bottle of 2014 tasted recently was superb!) Highly recommended!