Pépière - La Pépié Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2020
100% Melon de Bourgogne
Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, Loire Valley, France
From the importer-
Like for all Pepière Muscadet wines, the fruit is direct-pressed and the juice settled naturally for 12 hours. It is then fermented in stainless steel tanks with natural yeasts; the wine is aged on its lees in large, underground vats until bottling without fining or filtering. Use of sulfur is moderate to very little. For the Sur Lie bottling, Pépière bottles and releases it in several stages, so the first tranche sees about 4 months on the lees before release, increasing up to 6-8 months for the last tranche. It is the benchmark style of the estate: racy, crisp, acid- and mineral-driven, with a bare hint of richness from the sur lie factor, very much indicative of Pépière's granite-based terroir and clean, natural winemaking style.
Marc Ollivier’s first commercial vintage of Pépière was 1985; his wines were also Denyse Louis and Joe Dressner’s first Loire imports. In the decades since, Pépière has become the standard-bearer for naturally grown Muscadet, a region where historically little consideration was given to chemical-free agriculture, individual terroir expression or the potential ageability of the wines. Pépière’s various sites are rich in granite and gneiss in differing stages of decomposition into sand, clay and rocks; the vines range in age from 20 to over 100 years old. Farming is organic; yields are kept low; harvest and all other work is by hand (all rare in the region). Fruit is harvested and pressed in whole clusters; long, slow fermentations take place with indigenous yeasts and minimal sulfur in the cold cellar. Each wine ages sur lie, mainly in underground tanks, with extended lees contact for the cru bottlings, and is bottled without fining or filtering. Their intensity, complexity and age-worthiness defy Muscadet stereotypes—and Ollivier has taken on partners Rémi Branger and Gwénaëlle Croix over the last decade to help ensure that the high Pépière standard is maintained well into the future.