Marc Ollivier in 2010 with possibly the Clos des Morines behind... (Photo D. Lillie)

2014 Domaine de la Pépière Château Thébaud "Clos des Morines" - A Magnificent Muscadet! Plus, The Beautiful 2018 "les Gras Moutons" and More....

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This is a momentous occasion for any lover of geat Muscadet, as the Domaine de la Pépière has finally released their 2014 Muscadet Cru Communal Château Thébaud "Clos des Morines" after 42 months sur-lie and 12 months in bottle!

The Domaine de la Pépière Château Thébaud "Clos des Morines" comes from old vines on a beautiful vineyard with great terroir sloping down towards the river Maine. The granite here (Granit de Château Thébaud, oddly enough) is fissured and permeable by the vine roots which have access to water during dry spells and absorb micro-nutrients along the way.  2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015 here were among the best of the vintage in Muscadet and the 2014 will stand out as perhaps the finest yet due to the perfect combination of great density and minerality with the very firm acidity of this superb  year for Muscadet - those of you lucky enough to have the 2014 Pépière Clisson in your cellar understand just what a special vintage this is. (Marc Ollivier is particularly fond of this cuvée, now one of his two favorites along with the "Gorges" made in conjunction with Michel Bregeon.)

Some notes on the 2014 Château Thébaud, from Remi Branger of Pépière:

"Bonjour David, as you certainly know, 2014 is a very beautiful vintage, with beautiful balance and a high level of acidity. We harvested the Château Thébaud on Monday, September 15th and the fermentation lasted about 30 days. As the wine aged we performed three bâtonnages and after three and a half years sur lie, in April 2018, we decided to bottle it. We then decided to leave it  another year in bottle before offering it for sale. For us, the 2014 Château Thébaud is a wine with a great potential for cellaring. In its youth, the wine was very austere but the prolonged élevage sur lie allowed it to develop well and it benefitted further from the additional year in bottle. Recent tastings of the wine confirm to us that we made the right choice for the aging, because it has the balance we hoped for with a finish of power and tension."

Yes, the 2014 will be fabulous to drink now served with oysters, ceviche of cod, flounder, sole, and grilled fish, but the wine will age beautifully for 20 years and more - along the way it will perfectly accompany more serious fish preparations, lobster, langoustines, chicken with mushrooms, aged goat cheeses etc, etc. If there is enough wine, a case will go into my cellar (crawl-space, actually), about 15 cases are available.  We hope there will be a subsequent release from the estate....

2018 will not be confused with 2014 in the Loire, due to the extra level of ripeness achieved in 2018, but the wines maintain good freshness and  acidity making this a beautiful vintage in a fuller, rounder style. The just released 2018 Muscadet "Les Gras Moutons"  is a sensational wine and clearly illustrates the difference between the granite and gneiss terroirs in Muscadet. 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, 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 herbal and floral bouquet than the granite-based wines and the palate, although refreshing and bright, is softer and more open. The 2018 Gras Moutons is a sensational Muscadet showing a pale bronze color and beautiful aromas of ripe pear and quince with hints of anise, stone and almond; The palate is very dense and mineral with ripe pear and white peach, quite supple and ripe but framed in firm acidity. The finish is long and dense with white fruits, citrus and an almost bitter mineral aspect - this will pair beautifully with a full-flavored fish or chicken dish.

Another beautiful 2018 Muscadet is the  "Clos des Briords" which shows vivid aromas of dried pear, bitter lemon, anise and herbs with surprising hints of exotic fruit backed with earth and mineral notes. The aromatic ripeness is more restrained on the palate which shows beautifully supple and dense  pear and ripe apple fruit with quite firm acidity and finishing with nice grip and mineral flavors that linger on the palate. - This is a superb "Briords" in a riper style, reminding me of the 2009 - irresistible now but with enough acidity and structure to be a fabulous mature wine in 2029

2015 might fall somewhere between 2014 and 2018 in style. While the wonderful 2015 Château Thébaud is sold out, we have a few cases left of the 2015 "Gorges." Also aged 42 months on the lees, the wine is from Michel Bregeon's vines on Gabbro with clay topsoils. The 2015 Gorges is a complex, dense and beautifully structured wine - although vibrant and delicious now, we would recommend waiting for eight to ten years before opening for peak enjoyment.

Wines arrive Tuesday 11/12!   David Lillie

Pépière 2014 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Cru Château Thébaud

The Domaine de la Pépière Château Thébaud "Clos des Morines" comes from old vines on a beautiful vineyard with great terroir sloping down towards the river Maine. The granite here (Granit de Château Thébaud, oddly enough) is fissured and permeable by the vine roots which have access to water during dry spells and absorb micro-nutrients along the way.  2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015 here were among the best of the vintage in Muscadet and the 2014 will stand out as perhaps the finest yet due to the perfect combination of great density and minerality with the very firm acidity of this superb year for Muscadet - those of you lucky enough to have the 2014 Pépière Clisson in your cellar understand just what a special vintage this is. From Remi Branger at Pépière: "As the wine aged we performed three bâtonnages and after three and a half years sur lie, in April 2018, we decided to bottle it. We then decided to leave it  another year in bottle before offering it for sale. For us, the 2014 Château Thébaud is a wine with a great potential for cellaring. In its youth, the wine was very austere but the prolonged élevage sur lie allowed it to develop well and it benefited further from the additional year in bottle. Recent tastings of the wine confirm to us that we made the right choice for the aging, because it has the balance we hoped for with a finish of power and tension."

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  • $27.99

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Pépière 2018 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Les Gras Moutons

This lovely wine clearly illustrates the difference between the granite and gneiss terroirs in Muscadet. 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, 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 herbal and floral bouquet than the granite-based wines and the palate, although refreshing and bright, is softer and more open. The 2018 Gras Moutons is a sensational Muscadet showing a pale bronze color and beautiful aromas of ripe pear and quince with hints of anise, stone and almond; The palate is very dense and mineral with ripe pear and white peach, quite supple and ripe but framed in firm acidity. The finish is long and dense with white fruits, citrus and an almost bitter mineral aspect - this will pair beautifully with a full-flavored fish or chicken dish. Five to eight years of aging will bring out the complexity of this lovely wine. Highly recommended and a great value!  David Lillie

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic

Pépière 2015 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Gorges

We're ecstatic to have this superb new Muscadet from Pépière. The product of an exchange of juice with Fred Lailler at Domaine Bregeon (pressed at Bregeon), the wine undergoes a slow fermentation and is then aged 42 months on the lees. Marc Ollivier considers this his favorite of his bottlings right now, along with the Château-Thébaud. From Bregeon's vines on Gabbro with clay topsoil (in conversion to organic) the 2015 Gorges is a complex, dense and beautifully structured wine, with 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. Although vibrant and delicious now, we would recommend waiting for eight to ten years before opening for peak enjoyment. Highly recommended!  David Lillie

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

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Pépière 2018 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Briords Vieilles Vignes

(Note: Pre-Arrival sales by the case only, please!) 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. 2018 was  a vintage of sunshine despite rains and mildew in the spring that lowered yields. The 2018 "Briords" shows vivid aromas of dried pear, bitter lemon, anise and herbs with surprising hints of exotic fruit backed with earth and mineral notes. The aromatic ripeness is more restrained on the palate which shows beautifully supple and dense  pear and ripe apple fruit with quite firm acidity and finishing with nice grip and mineral flavors that linger on the palate. This is a beautiful "Briords," reminding me of 2009 - irresistible now but with enough acidity and structure to be a fabulous mature wine in 2029. Highly recommended! David Lillie

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  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

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Pépière 2018 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine s Lie La Pépie

(Please note - This is the very last inventory of 2018 "La Pépie" - The 2019 has arrived will be available as well. Tasted last January, it showed a bit more expessive and floral aromas than the 18 and a slightly fuller palate, a different but equally lovely wine and great value!)

Domaine de la Pépière 2018 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie "La Pépie"  is now from the second bottling, with grapes from older vines that were picked later - the wine is denser with more minerality and acidity than the first bottling - really a delicious and well-structured Muscadet. Don't delay in grabbing a case or two before it disappears...!

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  • $16.99

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