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Dom. de la Pépière Muscadet S&M s/l Clos des Briords 2010

This week an old friend on Winedoctor, in a new vintage of course. I loved the 2009 Clos des Briords, which I wrote about only last August, but that shouldn't stop me waxing on about the 2010 today. Every new vintage deserves appropriate consideration after all, and in addition I could always put forward the irrefutable argument that you can't have too much Pépière (I think it was Oscar Wilde who said that, but do correct me if you know different) as my reason for opening yet another bottle.

Having said this is a new vintage, I must confess that I am not entirely unfamiliar with the 2010, as I have already tasted it with Rémi Branger early in 2010 when it was positively embryonic. My earlier note can be found in my recently published 2012 Pépière update, should you be so inclined, along with my thoughts on the latest releases of the other cuvées in the now rather broad portfolio of wines produced by Marc and Rémi. Nevertheless, it is always worth revisiting these wines. First, a sample drawn from cuve in February 2011 (wines eligible for the sur lie designation must be bottled between March 1st and November 30th during the year after the harvest, so we can be absolutely certain my first taste was an unbottled sample) is representative of the finished wine but not necessarily exactly the same (akin to Bordeaux barrel samples), and so we should always remain somewhat circumspect about such early opinions. Secondly, samples tasted on visits or at a wine salon are tasting, not drinking, and as I have already discussed in Tasting Notes: Please Add Salt tasting notes scribbled down in such a false environment do not necessarily ring true. Each wine has limited time on the palate, without food, away from the relaxed atmosphere of consumption. I think, for this reason, it is valuable to return to such wines.

Besides, as I wrote above, it's Pépière. Do we really need an excuse?

Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie Clos des Briords 2010

As an aside, yes, the photographically-minded and visually astute among you will correctly deduce from the above image that I've acquired some new equipment; the benefit of this should be better-quality images on Winedoctor. The downside will be I will now look back at every vigneron, vineyard and château I have photographed and groan inwardly as I realise how much better the photograph could have been. C'est la vie!

Onto the wine, the 2010 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie from the Clos des Briords, Marc Ollivier's best known vineyard. As noted above, this is my first taste of the wine since it was bottled. It has a good colour in the glass, bright but pale. The nose is fresh and defined, showing lemon-citrus and pear fruits, all gritty and aromatic, and this certainly has a very confident style. It has a very slightly saline note, but perhaps it is a slightly too rich and bold style for this character to show through too strongly. This is followed by rather a full character on the palate, with a rich depth to it, but with an appealing substance and firm, full and rather solid acid backbone. There is nothing filigree or delicate here, this is a wine with tangible extract and a big, dense, minerally core. The lively zestiness of youth has given way to a firmer, more substantial character on the palate. Good now, with solid minerality, really clamping down on the finish, and full of future potential. A different style to 2009, which I think I preferred very slightly (having been sucked in by the ripe exuberance of the wine) but this vintage should keep classicists, and those looking to age the wine, very happy indeed. 17.5/20 (19/3/12)

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