Originally an engineer, Marc Ollivier decided at a young age to move to the country and take over a family plot of vines in the Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine appellation. His first vintage was 1985 and having no experience as a winemaker, his goal was simply to finish a fermentation without ruining the wine. He started with techniques still employed by most of his peers meaning cultured yeasts and lots of SO2. Very safe winemaking. He soon started experimenting with ambient yeasts and minimal SO2 and was struck by the results; greater depth, richness and complexity. He started transitioning all of his vineyards over to organic farming on original rootstocks and continued his minimalist approach in the cellar. His brilliant, mineral and citrus tinged wines are now the benchmark for the region.
Fast forward 30 years and Marc is now recognized as one of France's truly great vignerons and an absolute giant among the elite growers in the Pays Nantais. In 2010, lacking an heir and needing help running a growing domaine, Marc partnered up with neighbor Rémi Branger whose father sold Marc lots of vines in the past. After a few years working together, Marc made Rémi a part of the estate. The Clos des Morines is a vineyard previously owned by Rémi's family and acquired by Domaine de la Pépière in 2010. Along with the Clisson, it's one of the two top wines not only at this domaine but in the entire region and this is the first vintage.
The Clos des Morines is the prize parcel in the commune of Château-Thébaud (a village, not a castle) whose granite roche mère is so unique that its proper geological name is Château-Thébaud granite. This is well drained, fragmented granite, the type of rock responsible for the most structured, long lived Muscadets. This level of Muscadet is capable of offering much of the same patchwork complexity of great Chablis but with its own uniquely powerful minerality. Pure expression of orchard and citrus fruits along with savory notes and laserlike minerality and precision. Brilliant and defined like the rest of the worlds truly great white wines only at a headscratchingly low price. Very limited quantity.