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The wines of  Domaine de la Pépière, Muscadet, Loire

Mark Olivier (above) is the rather Biblical-looking figure who runs Domaine de la Pépière, one of the top estates in the Muscadet region of the Loire. He makes wines in a natural way. ‘I am in conversion to organics’, he reveals. ‘I harvest everything by hand, and this is something that only 10% of the growers in the region currently do. I don’t use any products for vinification – just a bit of sulfur dioxide before bottling’.

A consequence of turning away from chemical products in the vineyard is that manual work in the vineyard eliminates the surface roots of the vines. ‘The consequence is that the roots go deeper and the wines have more minerality because we work the soil’, explains Olivier.

He likes the 2007 vintage. ‘They have good acidity and are fresh. For me, Muscadet has to taste like this, with good acidity’.

Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sur Lie 2007
Fresh, bright aromatic minerally nose.
Quite classic. The palate is taut, herby and has high acidity. Very fresh and stylish. Lovely wine. 89/100

Domaine de la Pépière Clos de Briords 2007 Muscadet (tank sample)
From 80 year old vines and granitic soils. Tight, intense, nervy and dense with strong lemony acidity. Mineralic with some herbal notes. Really bracing. 90/100

Domaine de la Pépière Cuvée Eden 2006 Muscadet
This is from schist, not granite, and it spends a year on lees before bottling. Complex, taut, herby, lemony nose with some savoury depth to the fruit.
Finishes long with an attractive minerality. 90/100

Domaine de la Pépière Granite de Clisson 2005 Muscadet
Granitic soils; 2 years on lees.
Creamy aromatic nose with delicate herbaceous notes. The palate is broad, nervous and complex with good acidity and a wonderful long minerally finish. Precise and delicious. ‘Not a classic Muscadet’, says Marc Olivier, ‘but for me it is a classic Loire white wine.’ Should age well. 93/100

Wines tasted 05/08  
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