It's funny, not to mention maddening that the word "terroir" persistently defies quantifiable definition, yet the phenomenon clearly exists. In yet another example of the fact, this tastes way more like another wine from white-mineral-laden soils -- namely Chablis -- than it does like most Muscadet. Granted this similarity owes something to the fact that while most Muscadet, even most good Muscadet, is built like a 1970's tennis pro, this is built like a 21st century decathlete. But I don't think that tells the full story, because this doesn't merely seem like Melon de Bourgogne that does barbell lifts at the gym; it really does share more in common with, say, unwooded Premier Cru Chablis than it does with 95% of its appellation cohort. It's as though varietal character for both categories is subsumed by the lemony-stony essence of the growth medium, with grapes being merely the palatable vehicle of that substrate. That's even more true of the wine now than several years ago, as the brawny fruit has taken on a burnished quality and the structure come to the fore. One more thing's certain: if I'd bought this for the same intended purpose as most Muscadets, I'd feel as though I'd brought a Howitzer to a squirrel hunt. It's certainly no seaside quaffer, or to toss back like Fresca at an oyster roast.
This was a perfectly nice bottle, but less impressive than my last, a couple of years ago, having lost the slippery-soapy saline quality that made it so exciting then. Will try another soon to get a better take on where it's at. There's something to be said for drinking a wine when it's very good, instead of waiting for more. Anyway, solid high-quality Muscadet, but not special.
Tried this with some delicious fresh raw Maine oysters on the half shell. Good acidity, very direct and a little spritz. Overall what I'd expect from a good muscadet, but not great. Maybe I was just expecting more/better from the paring; the oysters were better than the wine. The bottle did seem a little tired and lacking the energy I'd expected, so possibly a little past peak at this point.
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(Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Granite de Clisson) This cuvée was harvested at 45 hl/ha, and has spent two years (with bâtonnage) on its lees which is outside the stipulated limit laid down in appellation regulations for placing the terms sur lie on the label. Madness! A lovely expression on the nose, and on the palate a fine but deep character, beautifully composed, broad and very mineral. The texture is impressive for the appellations, nicely balanced out by plenty of vivacious acidity. This is the business!
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