Significantly better as it warms - this allows the quality fruit to show itself. The mineral, seashore and acidity is there, no problem - plenty of cut and bite - but the fruit needs a little help. Lemon curd, chalk, iodine, and an oregano or herbal spiciness that I enjoy, and is only noticeable with some air and warming. I still think this is young, but not sure - it's an interesting wine. A bit of a bruiser for a Muscadet, but I have to say, I like it. Very much like a dialed down, razor edged Barraud Pouilly Fuisse. No heat at all, and no degradation (though maybe some long term fade?) over three nights.
Three days later: After nursing this over three nights - a glass a night, letting it warm in glass - the very last sip was by far the best. Not a hint of oxidation, cracking up, heat or other indications of over-the-hillness. I've reached my verdict - this is very, very young, and a very very special white wine in that I've never had one improve so much on warming. Best at 65-70 degrees F, unbelievably, and behaves like a high quality red, yet with all the classic Muscadet notes. Beautiful complexity and very long finish. Wonderful wine, and glad I have lots more. I'd take this over an Aubert Chard (except maybe the Lauren) anyday, and this has TONS of upside. Upgraded to 93pts pure quality, 95pts personal preference
Much more interesting than the last bottle, so perhaps coming through the other side of an awkward or shut-down period. Different from its youthful self, the wine now shows more depth, complexity, and saline pungency, which I'm beginning to read as a sigunature of well-made, well-aged Muscadet.
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.
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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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