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Authentic, tonic and delicious

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Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine 2011, Clisson, Ollivier Père et Fils ($20.25, 12259992)
Muscadets now have recognized crus communaux, or village crus, one of which is Clisson. 100% Melon de Bougogne. Matured on the lees for 24 months in stainless steel tanks. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: A.O.C. & Cie – Châteaux et Domaines.
The kind of nose that makes a Muscadet lover’s mouth watering: lemon, green apple peel, veins of chalk and flint, hints of straw, hay, honey and sea spray. In the mouth, the wine has an oily verging on weighty texture. It’s fruity but dry. There are minerals (but not as many as the nose lead you to expect), nipping acidity and a touch of bitterness on the rainwatery finish. Authentic, tonic and delicious, a valiant effort in a so-so vintage and one of the few characterful Muscadets sold at the SAQ. Here’s hoping it becomes a regular.  About perfect with moules marinières (recipe follows) and excellent with La Sauvagine cheese. An SAQ wine advisor reports that the tail end of a sampled and simply restoppered bottle was even more impressive – broader, deeper and longer – the next day. (Buy again? Yes.)

Despite claims to the contrary, it appears Ollivier Père is not Marc Ollivier, co-owner of one of top two or three estates in Muscadet, Domaine de la Pépière. Confusingly, Web searches turn up photos of earlier vintages of a Clisson from Pépière with an identical label. Even more confusingly, Pépière is represented in Quebec by Vinealis, whereas this wine is brought in by AOC. Vinealis’s head honcho, André Papineau, explains all in the comments below.

Mussels with White Wine and Aromatics
Moules marinières

Scrub and beard 1 kg (2.2 pounds) mussels. Put in a big pot with 1 medium onion and 1 small stalk celery, both finely minced, 1 or 2 large sprigs fresh thyme (substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme) and 1 cup dry white wine. If so moved, you can also add 1 clove of garlic and/or 1 carrot, both finely minced. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Steam just until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any shells that don’t open. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Transfer to bowls and serve with a baguette for sopping up the delicious liquor.

Yield: 2 servings

Written by carswell

October 31, 2014 at 16:11

3 Responses

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  1. Actually it is not the same family (Ollivier), and the Clisson Appellation has decided on a common label. All Clisson wines have to have the same visual presentation.
    Confusing, yes.

    Vinealis - André Papineau

    October 31, 2014 at 16:52

    • Thanks for the correction, André. I’ve updated the post accordingly.

      I couldn’t find much online about Ollivier Père at Fils but eventually stumbled upon a discussion involving several Paulée en ligne regulars including, I believe, an SAQ wine advisor who claimed the wine was from Pépière ( Would have gone straight to the authority (i.e. you) but, figuring you’d be preoccupied with the salon VIP, I didn’t want to bug you.


      October 31, 2014 at 17:16

  2. […] 2011, Clisson, Ollivier Père et Fils ($21.15, 12259992) A small restocking of a wine I enjoyed back in October 2014. Clisson is one of the crus communaux or village crus now recognized in Muscadet (2011 was the […]

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