La Pépière, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Monnières-Saint Fiacre (Loire Valley, France) 2019 

($32):  The appellation needs some explanation.  But first, what needs no explanation is La Pépière, one the finest producers of Muscadet.  They are so consistent, it is safe to say if you see their name on a label, you should buy the wine.  And Muscadet Sèvre et Maine needs no explanation because it is well known as the top sub-area of the greater Muscadet region, which surrounds where the Loire River meets the Atlantic Ocean.  But what is Monnières-Saint Fiacre, and why am I enthusiastic about a five-year old Muscadet, a wine that is typically drunk within a year or two of the harvest?  The French wine authorities have identified several villages (crus), like Monnières-Saint Fiacre, within Muscadet Sèvre et Maine that are capable of producing exceptional wine that must be aged longer before bottling.  This impeccably balanced and racy one from La Pépière combines depth and minerality with a chiseled backbone of acidity that makes it a joy to drink.  With seafood, of course — it is Muscadet — but also with practically anything, even beef, because its edginess will cut through anything on the table.
95 Michael Apstein Mar 26, 2024