100% Melon de Bourgogne. Clos des Briords is a lieu-dit in which Marc has long held 3 hectares of massale vines planted from 1930 to 1950. These are the oldest vines of the estate, planted on soils of granite de Thébaud, which differs from granite de Clisson in containing more feldspar and clay--it is cooler, slower ripening, holds and drains water well, supplies more nutrients and is looser (so roots can go deep to the hard granite mother rock). The farming is organic and harvest and all work by hand. 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--8 to 9 months in the case of Briords--until bottling without fining or filtering. Briords is generally the most structured and powerful of Pepière's wines.
About Domaine de la Pépière:
Marc Ollivier’s first commercial vintage of Pépière was 1985; his wines were also Denyse Louis and Joe Dressner’s first Loire imports. In the decades since, Pépière has become the standard-bearer for naturally grown Muscadet, a region where historically little consideration was given to chemical-free agriculture, individual terroir expression or the potential ageability of the wines. Pépière’s various sites are rich in granite and gneiss in differing stages of decomposition into sand, clay and rocks; the vines range in age from 20 to over 100 years old. Farming is organic; yields are kept low; harvest and all other work is by hand (all rare in the region). Fruit is harvested and pressed in whole clusters; long, slow fermentations take place with indigenous yeasts and minimal sulfur in the cold cellar. Each wine ages sur lie, mainly in underground tanks, with extended lees contact for the cru bottlings, and is bottled without fining or filtering. Their intensity, complexity and age-worthiness defy Muscadet stereotypes—and Ollivier has taken on partners Rémi Branger and Gwénaëlle Croix over the last decade to help ensure that the high Pépière standard is maintained well into the future.