Domaine de la Sénéchalière, 2014 Update

So who do you go to if you have an bent towards the low-intervention wines that tend to go by the description ‘natural’ and you suddenly have a yearning for a glass of Muscadet? A glass from Marc Ollivier of Domaine de la Pépière perhaps? It’s a good choice, the wines so often very pure and striking, cut with acids and minerals giving them a sense of classicism. This is one of my favourite domaines which, in recent years, has been edging towards full organic viticulture.

Not extreme enough for you? Well let’s move on to Jo Landron then, who has an equally sound reputation both for the quality and interest his wines offer. Jo is ahead of Marc somewhat; he converted his domaine to organic viticulture over a decade ago, having achieved certification in 2002, and he then progressed to biodynamics in 2006, although he did not receive certification in this until 2011. His wines are pure and electric, finessed by their fine acid backbones.

Domaine de la Sénéchalière

Still not extreme enough? Probably not. After all, my opening question asked for a more ‘natural’ stance, and I have picked out two domaines (two of the best as it happens) where the focus is in the vineyard. For a different take in the winery there are perhaps two obvious options. First there is Domaine de l’Ecu where, since the arrival of Fred Niger, amphorae have been arriving by the lorry load (Jo Landron has taken delivery of one as well, as it happens) to make Fred’s eclectic range of new cuvées. To be honest I sometimes feel that the Granite, Gneiss and Orthogneiss Muscadet cuvées, on which the reputation of the domaine was founded, are being sidelined. And then, for true hardcore fans, there is Marc Pesnot (pictured above), of Domaine de la Sénéchalière. No added yeast here, no sulphur dioxide, no fining, no filtration. And no appellation either; this is Vin de France territory.

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