Domaine de la Pepiere La Pepie Cot-Merlot 2020
Only three of Pépière's 43 certifed-organic hectares of vines are planted to black grapes: Côt, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (known locally as Breton). They are in the 10-hectare "home" vineyard in Clisson, where the rocky, granite-rich soils yield top-tier Melon de Bourgogne; the black grapes are in a section with a gentle slope and southwestern exposure. As with the Cabernet Franc, the Côt and Merlot are harvested by hand, destemmed and crushed, with only the free-run juice used for the wine. It is fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, followed by around five months of aging in stainless steel. The wine is classified as a Vin de Pays de la Loire, as there is no allowance for red wine in the Muscadet AOC.
Blend: 82% Malbec, 18% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Right at the edge of Brittany, Domaine de la Pépière is located in the village of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre. Marc, who grew up in the hamlet of La Pépière, created the estate in 1984. The name La Pépière has its root in the word ?pépie?, which means thirst. When you walk above the hamlet, on the slopes where vines are planted, it is easy to understand why the place got that name.
Winemaker Marc Ollivier hand harvests, uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish and bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are in old vines (40 years and older) with a particularly good exposition on a plateau overlooking the river Sèvre. All the vineyards are from original stock: Ollivier is the only grower in the Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection in his vineyards.
The Domaine believes that the quality of a wine depends entirely on the quality of the grapes it was made with. Rémi joined the estate in 2007, and actively worked on the organic conversion of the vines. Gwénaëlle, who came in 2013, has pushed things further with a shift towards bio-dynamic viticulture. It is the complexity of the terroirs of Sèvre et Maine that guides their choices. They are happy to share this diversity with you.
Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.
The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.
The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).
The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.