Home > Good, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > I Try a White Wine from the Loire

I Try a White Wine from the Loire


Marc Olivier runs Domaine de la Pepiere. Excited by his degree in viticulture from Macon he started working at his uncle’s winery in 1979. He purchased a neighboring 20 hectare estate when it went up for sale in 1984. Today there are some 28+ hectares of vines and as of 2010 he works with partner Remi Branger. The estate is run organically, the fruit hand-harvested, and fermented using indigenous yeasts. This particular wine the Clos des Briords is made from fruit sourced from a particular plot containing the oldest vines on the estate. They were planted in 1930. The soils are different from the rest of the estate with a deeper layer of clay and silicate over brittle granite. This wine is fermented and aged on the lees in stainless steel vats for eight months then it is bottled.

Sur Lie is a French term for “on the lees.” The lees are the deposits at the bottom of the tank from fermentation. The lees are composed of live and dead yeast cells along with bits of grape particles. The extended contact with the lees imparts great flavor to the wine, particularly white wines where it is practiced in Muscadet. For the appellations of Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine, Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire, and Muscadet-Cotes de Grandlieu bottles labeled Sur Lie must stay on the lees over the winter and not bottled until after the third week of March. The wine must be bottled directly off the lees without racking or filtration. Marc typically bottles his wines in late May.

This is a strong and affordable selection. If you try it now then decant the wine for several hours ahead of time. Otherwise I would cellar it for a few years. I imagine this wine will develop well and last for some time. It is currently available at MacAthur Beverages.

2010 Domaine de la Pepiere, Sur Lie Vieilles Vignes, Clos des Briords, Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine – $16
Imported by Louis/Dressner. Tis wine is 100% Melon de Bourgogne. Drunk over several nights the color is a very light straw and white sand combination. The light is light, crisp, and driven by acidity. In the mouth the precise white fruit enlivens the palete then rounds out. There is a fair amount of power and minerals towards the middle. With some ripeness and lemon flavors come out as the acidity causes one to salivate on the back and roof of the mouth. There is a long aftertaste with some tannins evident on the inside of the lips. With air the white fruit relaxes causing a gentle ripeness when first drunk. *** 2014-2022.

  1. June 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    This is a Muscadet!? Damn. If only more producers put this much effort into their wines…

  2. June 11, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Amazing to find such effort put into an ageable wine at this price point.

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