VDP Val de Loire Côt-Merlot "La Pépiè"
82% Côt (aka Malbec)/18% Merlot. Only three of Pépière's 43 certifed-organic hectares of vines are planted to black grapes: Côt, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (known locally as Breton). They are in the 10-hectare "home" vineyard in Clisson, where the rocky, granite-rich soils yield top-tier Melon de Bourgogne; the black grapes are in a section with a gentle slope and southwestern exposure. As with the Cabernet Franc, the Côt and Merlot are harvested by hand, destemmed and crushed, with only the free-run juice used for the wine. It is fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, followed by around five months of aging in stainless steel. The wine is classified as a Vin de Pays de la Loire, as there is no allowance for red wine in the Muscadet AOC.