Flinty, lightly mineral with appley fruit and real texture and interest. The old vine fruit adds amazing depth and mineral complexity to this fresh, savoury wine that has so much more to it than you might expect from Muscadet.
The vineyard lies on one of the best sites in Nantais at St Fiacre. Here the soils are layered with ‘orthogneiss’, a cracked mineral rich rock through which the vine roots weave and nourish the vine. ‘Vieilles Vignes’ is made from Nelly Marzellau’s oldest 45 year old vines – a rarity for Muscadet where most are dug up after 40 years. Made traditionally at this small estate. The grapes were hand-picked, lightly pressed to keep all the delicacies and purity of flavour and fermented at cool temperatures to preserve aromas. The older vines need longer on their fine lees – five months in fact – and so are not bottled until a year after harvest in October.
Domaine de la Combe (formerly Domaine les Grands Presbyteres) in the village of Saint-Fiacre, is nestled in the cradle of the Muscadet appellation between the two rivers of Sevre and Maine. The slopes of these river valleys give the vines unique exposure. After centuries of erosion they grow on a terroir of schist, gneiss and mineral rich orthogneiss, a soil composition that means Saint-Fiacre is considered one of the best sites for Muscadet Sevre et Maine.
Wines are made from vines of different ages. The oldest were planted in 1950s – a rarity in an area where most are dug up after 40 years – whilst the most recent plantings date from 2016. Not only are new vines being planted when necessary, but the planting density is being increased from 7,000 to 7,700 vines per hectare to force the roots deeper into the rocky soils.