Domaine la Haute Févrie, 2020 Update

As I near the end of my annual round of Muscadet reports, tasting updates and profile renewals I come now to the wines of Domaine la Haute Févrie. Once the domaine of Claude Branger, a much admired vigneron within and beyond the region, today this responsibility falls to his son, Sébastien Branger. Having met up with Sébastien several times over the last few years, it seems clear to me that the wines here tend to display more structure and tension than many, at times lending them a sense of austerity. On this most recent encounter with Sebastien, checking out his most recent and forthcoming releases, the wines tasted seemed true to this style. This was despite our focus on the 2019 and 2018 vintages, both rather benevolent seasons which tended to produce richer, softer and more generous wines.

Domaine la Haute Févrie

The Wines

I came first to 2019, a year which has given generous wines albeit with a little more freshness and acid backbone than the 2018 vintage on the whole. The 2019 Cuvée Haute Févrie was firm in the Branger style, and is serviceable at best, but the 2019 Pont Caffino holds more interest. This is a new addition to the portfolio, from a granite terroir in the commune of Château-Thébaud, the wines recently acquired. Sébastien (pictured above) bought the vines in order to secure a parcel for the relevant cru communal, but within the 3.5-hectare parcel some vines – in a lieu-dit named Pont Caffino – have instead been dedicated to the production of this traditional sur lie wine.

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