Domaine de la Combe (formerly Domaine les Grands Presbytères) in the village of Saint-Fiâcre, is nestled in the cradle of the Muscadet appellation between the two rivers of Sèvre 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-Fiâcre is considered one of the best sites for Muscadet Sèvre 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.After working in vineyards across the world, Pierre-Henri Gadais returned to his family's domaine in 2016 to take over from his father, Christophe, who had taken it over from the previous owner - Nelly Marzelleau - in 2009. Passionate about the expression of terroir and protecting the environment, Pierre-Henri is in the process of converting the vineyard to fully organic viticulture, aiming for full certification by 2021.
Domaine de la Combe Réserve Personelle (Vieilles Vignes), Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie 2020
This ‘Vieilles Vignes’ (Old Vines) cuvée 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 delicacy and purity of flavour, and fermented at cool temperatures to preserve aromas.
Surprisingly rich on the nose. Flinty, lightly mineral with yellow appley fruit and real texture and interest on the palate. 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 in Saint-Fiâcre on one of the Nantais’ best sites.
Here the soils are layered with orthogneiss, a cracked, mineral-rich rock through which the vine roots weave and nourish the vine.