Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 'Château-Thébaud' 2017
Domaine de la Pépière in Maisdon sur Sèvre in the Muscadet, is one of the greatest eststes of the Loire Valley. The reputation comes from the vibrancy and density of the wines which reflect their terroir, mostly decomposed Granite, Gabbro and Gniess.
There are 28 hectares of vines; about 8 hectares lie on the granite of Clisson in the more southerly part of the appellation, another 12 hectares further north, on the granite of Château Thébaud; both of which contain veins of metamorphic gneiss with amphibolite stones. Recently there is also wine from the commune of Gorges which will complement their range of Muscadet Cru Communal beautifully.
Domaine de la Pépière is a standout in the region for several reasons. Access to old vines - the vines are old, some over 70 years and all are planted 'selection massale'. Selection massale is an ancient and laborious method of replanting by taking the cuttings from the old and best vines. It takes about four years to produce a quarter of the number of vines of the initial cuttings.
The Domaine de la Pépière Château Thébaud comes from old vines in a beautiful vineyard sloping down towards the river Maine. The granite here (granite de Château-Thébaud) is fissured and permeable by the vine roots which have access to water during dry spells and absorb micro-nutrients along the way. The grapes are hand harvested, fed into the press by gravity and undergo a one to two month fermentation with wild yeasts. The wine ages "sur-lie" for 30 months with regular battonage, contributing to the complex aromatics and richness of the wine. This 2017 Chateau Thébaud is another gorgeous and complex wine, showing a limpid platinum gold colour with ripe aromas of candied white and yellow fruits, citrus and powerful mineral flavours, with hints of anise and liquorice. Decanting will bring our the best in this superb wine that has a long life ahead of it. If this was from Chablis it would have a "1" in front of the price