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SommSelect: Domaine de la Pépière, Château Thébaud, Clos des Morines Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, Pays Nantais, Loire Valley, France 2010 - SommSelect

$26

Buy 4 and we‘ll include shipping.*


Domaine de la Pépière, Château Thébaud, Clos des Morines Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, Pays Nantais, Loire Valley, France 2010


I am constantly researching, tasting, and hunting for exciting wines to share with you. I will be the first to admit that the world’s best and most exciting wines are rarely a bargain - but that’s not always the case. Today I am sharing what is perhaps the single best unsung value in all of wine: the mouthwatering whites of Muscadet from France’s Atlantic coast.


I can't think of any other appellations which the top wines, from top producers, are available at peak maturity for less than $30. Muscadet is one rare region wherein Sommeliers, critics, and collectors find consensus regarding who is bottling the top wines. Practically everyone agrees that Domaine de la Pépière is one of, if not the single best, Muscadet estate. The New York Times calls the wines “Exceptional”. The Wine Advocate calls Pépière “one of the most consistently outstanding sources of Muscadet and as such a purveyor of some of the wine world's most outstanding values.” And if you peruse the wine lists of this country’s elite, Michelin-starred restaurants - take The French Laundry, for example - you will see that Pépière is often the only Muscadet estate featured. It’s not a coincidence: these are fiercely mineral and terroir-driven wines that share a kinship with the best Sancerre and Chablis...only at half the price.

Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine is a windy, frigid and severe appellation that sits perched on France’s west coast right where the cold waters of the Loire river empty into the even colder Atlantic ocean. Here, Marc Ollivier (one of the most jovial, Santa Claus-like figures in all of wine) and his young partner, Rémi Branger, farm a collection of small vineyards planted to the grape Melon de Bourgogne. Each distinct parcel of grapes is divided by soil type, most often into distinct sub-categories of granite. Today’s wine hails from a village, Château Thébaud, which is home to a unique type of limestone called “Clos des Morines.” When planted to mature Melon de Bourgogne vines, this granite-rich soil produces wines of incredible minerality and piercing acidity. So much so that  - even in 2010, arguably the best vintage in the last decade - the wines must be tamed for years in barrel and bottle before they fully harmonize and blossom.  Marc and Rémi hand harvest their organically farmed fruit and ferment in steel tanks. This particular vintage was aged on the lees for 3 years, and then an additional year in bottle before release. The result is a wine of unparalleled balance, minerality and granite soil character. Those unsure of the definition of the word “terroir” need look no further - it’s like drinking a glass of liquified stone.

In the glass, the 2010 Domaine de la Pépière "Château Thébaud" looks like it tastes: an austere and pale shade of straw, with a steely and almost green-tinted center. And while there is a brilliant and harmonious supporting cast of green pear, citrus pith, and lemon peel on the nose, clearly the aromatic headliner here is crushed stone and pure granite. This is an unbelievably terroir-driven wine whose mouth-watering acidity and naturally thirst quenching characteristics practically scream out for Summer cuisine. Classic with all great Muscadet is oysters, simply shucked then eaten, one of the greatest pairing on earth by themselves (please dont touch the hot sauce). I want to underscore that this is as noble an expression of terroir as any great Chablis or Sancerre, and it should not be relegated to the lowly standing of a mere first course white. Pépière bottles dynamic wines with surprising and diverse value on the table. This vintage’s precise combination of acidity and richness makes it an ideal companion for sashimi and cutting through richer meat and cream-based dishes. Due to it’s quite moderate alcohol content it’s also a formidable partner to numerous Asian dishes. No matter the cuisine, please serve at 50 degrees in a large Bordeaux stem.

As a final note to those interested in starting to collect and cellar wine, Muscadet from a top vintage/producer like this is an obvious - and economical - candidate for extended aging. Intense acidity forms the backbone of this wine and will allow it to evolve and develop for at least another decade.  As it matures, you will see the acidity and minerality soften, leaving a richer, rounder, more aromatically complex wine. Properly aged Muscadet is always a rare and special treat.

I can't think of any other appellations which the top wines, from top producers, are available at peak maturity for less than $30. Muscadet is one rare region wherein Sommeliers, critics, and collectors find consensus regarding who is bottling the top wines. Practically everyone agrees that Domaine de la Pépière is one of, if not the single best, Muscadet estate. The New York Times calls the wines “Exceptional”. The Wine Advocate calls Pépière “one of the most consistently outstanding sources of Muscadet and as such a purveyor of some of the wine world's most outstanding values.” And if you peruse the wine lists of this country’s elite, Michelin-starred restaurants - take The French Laundry, for example - you will see that Pépière is often the only Muscadet estate featured. It’s not a coincidence: these are fiercely mineral and terroir-driven wines that share a kinship with the best Sancerre and Chablis...only at half the price.

Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine is a windy, frigid and severe appellation that sits perched on France’s west coast right where the cold waters of the Loire river empty into the even colder Atlantic ocean. Here, Marc Ollivier (one of the most jovial, Santa Claus-like figures in all of wine) and his young partner, Rémi Branger, farm a collection of small vineyards planted to the grape Melon de Bourgogne. Each distinct parcel of grapes is divided by soil type, most often into distinct sub-categories of granite. Today’s wine hails from a village, Château Thébaud, which is home to a unique type of limestone called “Clos des Morines.” When planted to mature Melon de Bourgogne vines, this granite-rich soil produces wines of incredible minerality and piercing acidity. So much so that  - even in 2010, arguably the best vintage in the last decade - the wines must be tamed for years in barrel and bottle before they fully harmonize and blossom.  Marc and Rémi hand harvest their organically farmed fruit and ferment in steel tanks. This particular vintage was aged on the lees for 3 years, and then an additional year in bottle before release. The result is a wine of unparalleled balance, minerality and granite soil character. Those unsure of the definition of the word “terroir” need look no further - it’s like drinking a glass of liquified stone.

In the glass, the 2010 Domaine de la Pépière "Château Thébaud" looks like it tastes: an austere and pale shade of straw, with a steely and almost green-tinted center. And while there is a brilliant and harmonious supporting cast of green pear, citrus pith, and lemon peel on the nose, clearly the aromatic headliner here is crushed stone and pure granite. This is an unbelievably terroir-driven wine whose mouth-watering acidity and naturally thirst quenching characteristics practically scream out for Summer cuisine. Classic with all great Muscadet is oysters, simply shucked then eaten, one of the greatest pairing on earth by themselves (please dont touch the hot sauce). I want to underscore that this is as noble an expression of terroir as any great Chablis or Sancerre, and it should not be relegated to the lowly standing of a mere first course white. Pépière bottles dynamic wines with surprising and diverse value on the table. This vintage’s precise combination of acidity and richness makes it an ideal companion for sashimi and cutting through richer meat and cream-based dishes. Due to it’s quite moderate alcohol content it’s also a formidable partner to numerous Asian dishes. No matter the cuisine, please serve at 50 degrees in a large Bordeaux stem.

As a final note to those interested in starting to collect and cellar wine, Muscadet from a top vintage/producer like this is an obvious - and economical - candidate for extended aging. Intense acidity forms the backbone of this wine and will allow it to evolve and develop for at least another decade.  As it matures, you will see the acidity and minerality soften, leaving a richer, rounder, more aromatically complex wine. Properly aged Muscadet is always a rare and special treat.





Country France
Region Loire Valley
Sub-Region Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine
Varietal Melon de Bourgogne
Production n/a
Alcohol 12%
Oak None
Soil Granite
Farming Organic
TASTING PROFILE

Fruit

Earth

Body

Tannin

Acid

Alcohol
TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Country France
Region Loire Valley
Sub-Region Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine
Varietal Melon de Bourgogne
Production n/a
Alcohol 12%
Oak None
Soil Granite
Farming Organic
SommSelect: Domaine de la Pépière, Château Thébaud, Clos des Morines Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, Pays Nantais, Loire Valley, France 2010 - SommSelect SommSelect: Domaine de la Pépière, Château Thébaud, Clos des Morines Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, Pays Nantais, Loire Valley, France 2010 - SommSelect

$26

Buy 4 and we‘ll include shipping.*

“Enjoy the minerality and terroir of top flight Sancerre and Chablis at half the price”

SommSelect brings a sommelier’s knowledge and experience to everyone, at every budget, every day. We aren’t influenced by scores or ratings, or by a need to move inventory. Instead, our co-founder and in-house Master Sommelier, Ian Cauble, tastes dozens of wines from the world’s best producers each week to find those that truly stand out. Enjoy our selections.

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