2016 Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie
100% Melon de Bourgogne. In 2016, Pepiere's classic, earliest-released Sur Lie bottling has an addition to the label, the "La Pepie" moniker because Marc Ollivier and his partners had the addition of non-estate fruit to this bottling. The 2016 vintage was such a devastatingly short one--reducing Pepiere's total production to 15% of a normal year--that they felt they had no choice. Marc was able to buy the fruit and make the wine, so it is in complete keeping with the Pepière approach to farming and winemaking. Aside from the bit of sourced fruit, the rest came as always from the central 10-hectare vineyard of the estate on sandy, granite-based soils. Farming is organic and harvest by hand, as for all of the estate vines. Like for the rest of the Pepière wines, the fruit is direct-pressed and the juice settled naturally for 12 hours. It is then fermented in stainless steel tanks with natural yeasts; the wine is aged on its lees in large, underground vats until bottling without fining or filtering. Use of sulfur is moderate to very little. For the Sur Lie bottling, Pépière bottles and releases it in several stages, so the first tranche sees about 4 months on the lees before release, increasing up to 6-8 months for the last tranche.
It is the benchmark style of the estate: racy, crisp, acid- amd mineral-driven, with a bare hint of richness from the sur lie factor, very much indicative of Pepiere's granite-based terroir and clean, natural winemaking style.