Domaine la Haute Févrie, 2018 Update

In any wine region, there are certain names to which the keen wine drinker is attuned to. Baudry in Chinon, or Mellot in Sancerre, to give two high-flying examples from the Loire Valley, and Muscadet is no exception to this rule. There are those names almost every wine drinker knows, such as Luneau-Papin, a family which holds sway over a huge expanse of the Muscadet vineyard and yet quality never seems to falter. I would suggest that Bossard was another name long associated with quality, the wines of Guy Bossard long held up by knowledgeable Muscadet drinkers as paragons of the mineral-defined Muscadet style.

Domaine la Haute Févrie

After these more obvious choices, however, there are names which seem never to cut through to the general wine-drinking consciousness, and which are destined to remain known only to committed fans of the region, even though the wines they make are of exceptional quality. In Muscadet, one such name is Branger; here at Domaine la Haute Févrie several generations of the Branger family have tended vines in and around the village of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre since the early 20th century. Of these it was the third generation, the mild-mannered and silver-haired Claude Branger who seemed to find his way into the hearts of Muscadet drinkers everywhere. This is especially true of open-minded wine drinkers and wine merchants in the USA, who have been importing this family’s wines for many years now.

Today the running of the domaine has been turned over to Claude’s son, Sébastien Branger. I recently met up with Sébastien (pictured above) to taste some of the latest vintages, as well as to look back at a trio of older wines.

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