Marc Ollivier in the Clos des Briords

June Muscadet Madness, Featuring the 2013 Pépière Clos des Briords!

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The discovery of outstanding wine in the Pays Nantais has been one of the greatest pleasures of my drinking life. Beginning with Jo Landron in the late 80s, I was beginning to realize that there was good terroir and great wine in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, but it was the wines of Marc Ollivier and specifically his "Clos des Briords" that really convinced me. At the time, Marc was one of the few vignerons to be haresting by hand and fermenting with wild yeasts. “When I started making wine with my uncle,” Ollivier said to me, “we often used a starter yeast, but I saw that it wasn’t necessary... Finally, I began to feel that the yeast was part of the terroir; it gives complexity to the wine. And I want to make a wine with a direct bond with the soil.” First produced in 1988 (and drinking beautifully when last tasted in 2009), it is produced from very old vines in a small parcel on Château Thébaud granite. When young, rather than being aromatic, the wine is atmospheric, like sea air on a rocky coast in Brittany. With age it shows its greatness - the 1996, for example, is now in its youthful prime. Marc has converted his estate to organic farming, has acquired new parcels, principally in "Gras Moutons" and the "Clos des Morines", and continues to experiment with extended sur-lie aging with wines such as the "Cuvée Quarts", arriving this fall. But the "Clos des Briords" continues to excite us with its breathtaking minerality and subtle flavors and we are happy to announce the arrival of the 2013. According to Marc: "2013, it's a classic vintage with very good acidity, for me similar to 2004, a little less rich than 2012, but quite invigorating."

Another vigneron-hero of the Muscadet, Jo Landron of Domaine de la Louvetrie, makes some of our favorite wines year in and year out, always including his "Amphibolite" and the suberb "Fiefs du Breil."  Another wine featured at Chambers Street each year has been Jo's wonderful "Hermine d"Or" now labeled simply with the vineyard name "Les Houx." His organic and biodynamic farming has created rich, living soils and this excellent parcel produces an unusually rich and complex Muscadet of terroir. The 2012 is a great success which will benefit from a few years of aging, or decanting if drinking now. And speaking of drinking now, we have a few bottles left of the 2004 "Fiefs du Breil"  - this was an excellent vintage for Muscadet, and the wine is drinking beautifully. (Photo: Jo Landron smelling dirt!)

We're happy to include current and older vintages from Luneau-Papin, the recent arrivals from our new organic friends at Domaine de la Parentière, and two more great wines from Marc Ollivier including the sensational 2010 Chateau Thébaud "Clos des Morines."  We bought all we could get of this wine - it's beautifully complex and delicious now and will be sensational in ten to fifteen years! DL

 

 

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Pépière 2013 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clos des Briords

The "invigorating" 2013 Clos des Briords is a bit leaner than the 2012, with subtle aromas of sea-spray and wet stone, lemon flowers and thyme with hints of pear. The palate has mouth-coating citrusy acids with anise, apple and pear with a finish that is all minerals. This vintage has great purity and firm acidity, making it fabulously refreshing and a great match with oysters, crudo and grilled fish. Cellar for ten to fifteen years and serve with full-flavored fish and poultry dishes and goat cheeses. A "classic" Clos des Briords as Marc Ollivier says, a great "food wine" and a great value, as always!

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  • $17.99

Louvetrie (Jo Landron) 2012 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Les Houx

Marc Ollivier's Domaine de la Pépière always sets the standard for great values in Muscadet, but let's give a nod to our friend Jo Landron as well! His Domaine Louvetrie "Les Houx" (formerly labeled "Hermine D'Or") is from a great parcel of shallow sandy clay soils, rich with silica, quartz and iron, over a bedrock of gneiss and clay. A great terroir for Muscadet that always gives a dense, complex wine which benefits from medium-term aging. The 2012 is a great example and a sensational value. Lovely pale bronze color. A bit closed when first opened, then showing aromas of ripe pear, apple, lemon oil, a field in the sun, a hint of spice. The palate is dense with white fruits, stone, hay and citrus with perfect bracing acidity. Rather full-bodied for a Muscadet, this will accompany crab, lobster and monkfish as well as chicken, pork, Asian foods and goat cheeses. Or hold for a few years and serve with full-flavored fish dishes. Bravo, Jo Landron!

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  • $14.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Pépière 2013 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie

Now is the time to buy the 2013 Pépière Muscadet as the later bottlings contain juice from the older vines giving a denser, more mineral wine. Subtle hints of citrus, herbal and white fruit aromas, the palate is dense and mineral with firm acidity with more weight and length than the fruitier first bottling. Really refreshing and perfect for hot weather!

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  • $14.99

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  • $15.99

Pépière 2010 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Ch.Thébaud Clos Morines

The 2009 Château Thébaud Clos des Morines was our favorite wine of the vintage from Domaine de la Pépière and the 2010 is no less outstanding! As Rémi Branger of Pépière explained, the higher acidity in this vintage permitted a longer, three year élevage sur lie, giving the wine great density, complexity and structure. Beautiful aromas of citrus peel, apple blossom, pear and stone. The palate is dense with saline mineral, citrus, white fruits and wet stone. Really long with great acidity and depth. This is a great Muscadet— drink now with any elegant seafood dish of keep ten to twenty years and serve with lobster, monkfish and aged goat cheeses.... Fabulous—thank-you Marc and Rémi! UPDATE April 2015: The wine is absolutely sensational - given an hour to open up, vivid aromas of dried pear, thyme, lemon verbena and stone are followed by a dense, intensely stony palate with mineral, dried fruits, citrus, and earth. Fabulous length with a miraculous mineral finish. OK, I'm a little over-enthusiastic, but this wine puts $100 white Burgundies to shame....($23.39 per bottle on a case purchase!)

 

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  • white
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  • $29.99

  • Organic

Louvetrie 2012 Muscadet Amphibolite Nature

Jo Landron's Amphibolite is always one of the freshest and most lively of Muscadet. Named after the rocks, rich in iron and magnesium, prevalent in the vineyard, over a bedrock of gneiss. There are lovely aromas of white fruits and citrus in this ripe, low-yielding vintage and a bit more alcohol at 12%. Pear and quince on the palate with the usual saline acidity always present in this wine. Refreshingly delicious as an apéritif, perfect with oysters and seafood.

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  • $14.99

Louvetrie (Jo Landron) 2004 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Fiefs du Breil

Le Fief du Breil — a great hillside vineyard of clay and quartz stones over orthogneiss, tended in organic and biodynamic farming. 2004 is a great vintage for this wine, which we have enjoyed dozens of time over the years. The vintage in the Pays Nantais was better than in the eastern Loire as good weather held through the harvest, giving wines of excellent ripeness, but with a higher than usual level of acidity — the perfect combination for Muscadet! Re-Tasted in February 2016: Wow, a beautiful wine, packed with dried fruits, citrus, floral and mineral flavors, great balance and length, still young. 12% alc, unchaptalized, drink till 2030? We thank Jo for releasing a bit more of this super wine from his tiny stock of back vintages...


This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

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  • $39.99

Luneau-Papin 2009 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clos des Noelles

(80 year-old vines on schist and mica-schist, 36 months on the lees) This is quite similar to the wonderful 2005 version, with perhaps a bit more ripeness, though with moderate alcohol at 12.5%. Lemon oil, herbal, apple/pear and stone aromas with supple, ripe white fruits, citrus, white pepper and anise on the palate. Fabulously round and delicous now, served with rich fish dishes, chicken, white meats and mild cheeses, there is adequate acidity for aging and great material — this should open up nicely with a few years in the cellar, peak drinking perhaps 2018-2030.

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  • $21.99

Luneau-Papin 2009 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Le "L" d'Or

Another superb vintage for the Luneau-Papin "L" d'Or. It's a bit rounder and riper than the 2007 perhaps, but with more density of fruit and the acidity and structure to age beautifully. (Somewhat similar in style to the 2009 Pépière Chateau-Thébaud, which also combined the richness of the vintage with outstanding balance and acidity) This is drinking well now with complex aromas including citrus and exotic fruit with anise and herbs. The palate is silky and long with stone and white fruits, really delicious and with great structure for a 2009. A good candidate for aging, this seems like a somewhat denser and riper version of the 1995.This is Luneau-Papin's only cuvee on a granite subsoil (granit a deux micas) having a different character than the granite soils in Clisson or Chateau Thebaud. DL

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  • $29.99

Luneau-Papin Delete 2005 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Le "L" d'Or

Another great effort from the Luneau-Papin family, and not much stock remains of this excellent vintage. Tasted in November 2015. When opened the aromas are subtle with lime-flower, lemon oil, earth, mushroom and herbal notes. With aeration the aromas gain depth and the crystalline palate shows it's density with dried fruits, mushroom, stone, anise and citrus. Fresh pear, earth and minerals linger in the long finish. This is beginning to sing at ten years of age, drink now or until 2030. Decant or open one hour before serving.

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  • $32.99

Parentière 2012 Vin de France (Organic) Fraîcheur Iodée L'Atlantique

The Parentière Fraîcheur Iodée de L'Atlantique, which roughly translates as "Atlantic sea-spray" is made from Gros Plant (aka Folle Blanche) grown on gabbro soils near Vallet in the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine region. Domaine de la Parentière is a tiny estate which has been practicing organic agriculture for more than 30 years—the grapes are hand-harvested and fermented with wild yeasts and the wines are never chaptalized, remaining light, mineral and refreshing. At 10.2% alcohol, this wine is light and lovely with subtle aromas of citrus, herbs and wet stone with vibrant, fresh acidity. The intriguing finish with hints of almond, citrus and earth is typical of the gabbro soils. Perfect with shellfish and seafood or quaffed outdoors on a hot summer day, this wine is a superb and refreshing value!

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  • white
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  • $9.99

  • Organic

Parentière 2012 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Vieilles Vignes

Michel and Guilhaume Ménager produce this lovely Musacdet on their tiny estate near Vallet, which they have tended organically for more than 30 years. The sub-soil is gabbro, a type of basalt, that gives a unique aromatic quality to the wine, quite different from wines produced on the normal granite or gneiss/schiste soils of Muscadet. The Ménagers have always harvested by hand and never chaptalize, producing wines that are light, refreshing and very "mineral" in character. The 2012 Muscadet Cuvée Vieilles Vignes shows subtle aromas of citrus, melon, almond and stone—a difficult to describe melange typical to wines from gabbro soils. Light and refreshing at 12% alcohol, with stone, citrus and herbal flavors, this is a beautiful Muscadet to enjoy with shellfish, seafood, poultry and mild cheeses. Bravo to the Ménagers for producing this delightful wine at such a low cost! DL

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  • $11.99

  • Organic