Browse Tag



Domaine de la Fruitière 2007 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Cuvée Petit M” (Loire) – Most “quaffing” Muscadet is so-labeled by commentators as a way to avoid saying that the wine’s stark and underfruited, and also lacks the mineral complexity of the best versions. The latter is definitely not the case here. In fact, if anything, there’s a whitish-yellow aggression to the palate. But there’s no real complexity, either. The wine’s good, simple, and…well, quaffable. (8/09)

Sur duke

Ollivier “Domaine de la Pépière” 1998 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sur Lie” (Loire) – Note: this is the normale, not any of the cuvees…and no, aging it this long wasn’t the intention. But as random cellar finds go, this is actually pretty interesting: fully given over to wet, almost salty seashells, with mild to medium oxidation (responses will differ) and a tan tinge to the finish. Rather than gaining complexity, this has instead moved to a different realm of simplicity than it inhabited in its youth, which isn’t necessarily unusual for Muscadet. But in any case, I don’t think I’d recommend ten years’ aging for this wine. (7/09)

Home, home on the Grange

Luneau-Papin “Domaine Pierre de La Grange” 2004 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sur Lie Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) – Already showing movement in its broadening, fuller palate and increasingly shell-like minerality. It’s still sharp and forward, but less direct than it was in its youth. Long, columnar, and delicious. There’s more time left in it, but it’s very enjoyable now. (7/09)

Home on the Grange

Luneau-Papin “Domaine Pierre de La Grange” 2004 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sur Lie Vieilles Vignes” (Muscadet) – Already showing signs of maturity, its sharpness softening and its seashore minerality having coalesced into pure liquid carapace, but still quite vibrant and persistent. A passionate Muscadet. (6/09)

Garden of melon

Ollivier 2004 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sur Lie” “Cuvée Eden Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) – Forward, but…well, the broken-shell texture of the wine is harsh, and seems to be shoving hard against some unseen barrier. In a weird place right now. Hold or hold. (5/09)

Sur Lie you jest

Ollivier “Domaine de la Pépière” 2006 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Sur Lie” (Loire) – Drier, in some ways, than the starkest Trimbach or Beyer riesling, yet the core of this wine is friendlier and more appealing…a gently-lapping shell-covered seashore rather than a rigid column of iron. And it’s crisp without being severe. Deployed to accompany a scallop ceviche, it sings through the gaps and spaces, rather than cooperating in a duet of equals, and I think is even better for it. (1/09)


Ollivier 2002 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sue Lie” Clos des Briords “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) – Tastes of paper, bones, and erosion…first whitewashed, then turning completely transparent with time in the glass. These ends the wine pursues with unwavering focus, and various attempts to dislodge it from its position with food achieve nothing. The finish is a bit of a white dwarf at the moment, but I expect broadening down the road. Well down the road. (12/08)

Salt & Pépière

Ollivier “Pépière” 2005 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Granite de Clisson (Loire) – Strikingly mineral, even for Ollivier, but there’s more: blood orange rind, tiny white berries bursting with cold fruit, salt-infused sand. A touch distended on the finish, but otherwise wow-ish. (1/08)

L’s bells

Luneau-Papin 2005 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sur Lie” “L d’Or” (Loire) – Shells and grapefruit rind. Big. Elegant but insistent, and quite long. Really, really striking. (1/08)