Sur Lie, Muscadet, Domaine de la Pépière, 2011
It is probably typically Belgian, this love for the underdog, but I allways have been very keen on the best wines from wineregions with a bad reputation. They deliver an excellent price/quality and they make you remember where the region got its reputation.
The Loire is one of these regions, and especially the Muscadet has a special place in my wineheart. Ever since I had my first fruits-de-mers combined with one of these dirt-cheap fresh and vibrant wines I fell in love with them, and the idea of resolutely going for the cheapest wine on the list and then finding out it was actually the best combination is great. I also frequently experienced that when going for the slightly more expensive Muscadet on a winelist I stumbled upon the very best of the region, sometimes in very unpretentious restaurants where you would not expect them.
Recently I drank a bottle by Marc Ollivier, an impressive figure and an excellent winemaker. and unfortunately an exception in the region as he works his soils and does not use weedkillers. In the nose it was mineral with a vague hint of apples, but the ones you will find on farmers markets and bio-shops, the old varieties I mean. In the mouth the same earthiness, the taste of soil and old apples powdered with dust, and in the finish, that was quite fresh, a surprising little touch of honey.
I paid 9,5 euro for this bottle at Delcoeur in Eupen, Belgium. Marc also makes an unpretentious but very good red, and some top-cuvées in white that I still have to find (and taste). If you ever drive through Eupen, this is and a good wineshop and a good restaurant : www.delcoeur.be
I wrote this message because I stumbled on a very interesting article on my favorite wineblog, Wine Terroirs. It has some nice pictures of Marc Ollivier and explains very well the circumstances in the Muscadet region, where wine-heaven and wine-hell are often neighbours. The picture of Mr Ollivier also comes from this article. http://www.wineterroirs.com/2013/05/muscadet_vineyard_man...