Sourced from the lieu-dit Les Gras Moutons, which has a gneiss terroir, an origin that has set this wine apart from the rest of the Ollivier portfolio, which is largely dominated by cuvées from granite terroirs. Expressive aromatically and already stylish showing pronounced minerality, it has a soft style but with a building vibrancy and mineral core coming through from underneath. This is great Muscadet!
Marc Ollivier of Domaine de la Pépière, from the appellation of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, is one of the great vignerons of the Loire Valley. Ollivier's reputation comes from the vibrancy and density of his wines which reflect their terroir, which for most of his vineyards is granite, one of the less common terroirs for Muscadet, accounting for only 5% of the appellation. He has 28 hectares of vines; about 8 hectares lie on the granite of Clisson in the more southerly part of the appellation, another 12 hectares further north, on the granite of Château Thébaud; both of which contain veins of metamorphic gneiss with amphibolite stones.
It is noteworthy that Ollivier's vineyards are genetically rich as there are no clones in Ollivier's vineyards, which are increasingly tended using organic methods. The grapes are harvested by hand, with a pressing straight after harvest and no pellicular maceration. Fermentation occurs using only naturally occurring yeasts (and no products at all to aid or adjust the vinification) which is nearly exclusively in stainless steel where the wine stays until bottling, for months or up to three years as Ollivier deems necessary. The wines are then bottled with minimal addition of sulphur dioxide and the lightest of filtrations.