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[clos des briords]Ollivier “La Pépière” 2004 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie Clos des Briords “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) — Broad and deep. As purely intellectual a vinous exercise as I’ve encountered in some time; all the pleasure to be found from drinking this requires attention and understanding. There’s no way this would ever be appealing to the soif crowd, unless they’re absolutely prepared for the experience. All that said, it’s brilliant wine at the top of its game. (11/16)


[clisson]La Pépière 2009 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Clisson (Loire) — Two bottles. First is partially oxidized, likely due to cork failure. Second is tentative and restrained; an infinite blank plane of unwillingness. I’m not sure how to judge its future, given these performances. (11/16)

Briords Camembert?

Olliver 2005 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie Clos des Briords “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) — Just at the right point between saline and bones. Strong for eleven year old Muscadet. Delicious. (7/16)

Fat of the lamb

[les gras moutons]La Pépière 2014 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie “Les Gras Moutons” (Loire) — Blocks and cubes beginning to weep from the humidity. Extremely approachable, but then this cuvée always is. (5/16)

Briands, Briords, Brinots

[2002]Ollivier 2002 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sur Lie” Clos des Briords “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) — Naked rocks that press finely-woven pollen tissue into the palate. This is why one ages great Muscadet. (4/16)

Orthotwice as Orthogneiss

Bossard “Domaine de l’Ecu” 2005 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Expression d’Orthogneiss” (Loire) – Sometimes Muscadet is worth holding, sometimes it isn’t. This was the latter. Now, it’s weak and trembling minerality, eroded and barely noticeable, with almost nothing surrounding it. Oh well. (6/12)


Ollivier 2004 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie “Cuvée Eden” “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) – Drinking really nicely at the moment, its shells liquefied and its minerals having joined the party, which is now humming at a slightly higher volume than before. Everything is knit and in place. There are those who would hold this longer, and they’re not wrong, but I quite like the balance of strength and complexity right now. (5/12)

Big lamb, little lamb

Métaireau “Domaine du Grand Mouton” 2010 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie “Petit Mouton” (Loire) – Muscadet-by-the-numbers. Abraded shells and slightly saline acidity, light-bodied, clean and soon absent. Frankly, I expect more from this producer. (11/11)

Rising Gorges

Brégeon 2004 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Gorges (Loire) – Wow, is this good. It’s a lavish, showy, almost – but not quite – lush expression of Muscadet, everything very nearly oversaturated and just shy of lurid. Yet it keeps its poise and its nerve. As full-bodied as I think the appellation can get, but in no fashion overdone. Will it age? I have no reason to doubt it. (12/11)

Bri or someone else

Ollivier 1998 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie Clos des Briords “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) – The oldest Muscadet in my cellar leaps forward a year with the demise of this bottle, but I have the feeling it’s time. It has certainly broadened, with the shells and rocks coalesced into a wide plain of sea-washed albino carapace, and there’s a throb of something that’s almost fruit-like that hasn’t been present at any previous point in this wine’s evolution. But the finish carries a whipcord of oxidation that shortens it a bit sooner than I’d like, and so I think this wine has journeyed about as far as it’s going to travel. At least, this bottle has. Since I have no more, I can’t speak to its, um, fellow travelers. (9/11)