It’s still early February, but I am confident that my resolution to drink more Muscadet was one of my best New Year’s resolutions to date — and also one of the easiest to fulfill. As I wrote in a previous post, no survey of Muscadet would be complete without experiencing the wines from Domaine de la Pépière, home to Marc Ollivier.
In 2005, Ollivier produced his first “Granite de Clisson” — a periodic bottling of 60-90 year old vines. It is aged on the lees for 24 months and so it cannot be labeled “Sur Lie” as it violates the current regulations which permit only nine months of aging. Ollivier takes his time in the vineyard and the cellar. Ripening is slower, and the longer hang-time before harvest allows for optimal maturity. He hand harvests (a rarity in the region), uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish and bottles with a very light filtration.
The 07 Granite de Clisson is young (it is expected to benefit from 10-15 years of aging), but already showing very well. Golden yellow color with aromas of citrus and wet stones with some floral, saline and leesy notes. On the palate, great richness, depth and intensity — pure and ripe citrus and pear with honey, tarragon and a little spice. Round with bright acidity and minerality.
I thought this was more muscular than the Pierre Luneau-Papin Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie Excelsior 2005, which isn’t to say I wasn’t extremely fond of this as well, it’s just stylistically different. I’m not sure I could say which one I liked better and don’t think I prefer one to the other. Both wines are magnificent. Choosing between the two would just depend on my mood. As good as this is showing right now, it will be extremely interesting to watch this develop over the coming years. I hope I can find the patience and restraint to keep my hands off of it. This is worth seeking out and a great value at about $20 a bottle. 12% alcohol. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.