Domaine de la Pépière, 2013 Update

I don’t think it would be valid to review goings-on in the kingdom of Melon de Bourgogne without turning to look at developments at Domaine de la Pépière. This is clearly one of the leading domaines of the appellation; where proprietor Marc Ollivier beats his rivals hands-down is in the eclectic innovation he displays in his portfolio of wines. Where other domaines might have beautifully structured and very classic wines, Marc has this but also much more. There are several long lees-aged wines here, reflecting the two types of granite that dominate, Clisson and Château-Thébaud, and also a blend of the two. This latter wine, Trois, is named for the three years it spends sur lie before bottling (and not, as I once saw erroneously reported elsewhere, an indicator of the residual sugar concentration). And if you want sparkling Muscadet (well, almost – the Pépies Bulles cuvée is in fact 50% each Melon de Bourgogne and Chardonnay) then this is the domaine to come to.

Domaine de la Pépière

The Wines

This report incorporates notes on the wines of Domaine de la Pépière from two tastings. The first was at home in January this year. The second was just a month later in Angers, with Rémi Branger (pictured above), )who has been working alongside Marc for a few years now, and who has a share in the domaine. That I had a chance to revisit the wines was a welcome one, as somewhere between the beauty and precision of the 2012 vintage, and the structured confidence of 2010, I found one or two wines that did not show so well, and a retaste to confirm my thoughts was worthwhile. Well, that’s the 2011 vintage for you. I have kept my notes from these two tastings (on the next page) separate, but will try and synthesise my thoughts on the wines here.

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