With this new cuvée, Pierre-Henri Gadais is aiming to show a very fresh and vibrant expression of Muscadet, harvesting fully organic Melon de Bourgogne grapes in the cool of the night (for freshness) and bottling the wine without lees ageing.
Already quite modern in style, the ripe 2018 vintage has allowed the fruit character to really shine whilst remaining deliciously fresh and bright with a more typical touch of salinity and spritz on the finish.
Thanks to being almost completely surrounded by the Sèvre river, this 9-hectare estate benefits from a unique micro-climate and Pierre-Henri is able to select the best plot for each style of wine. To create a wine which best accentuates the vibrancy of Melon de Bourgogne (Melon Blanc) he chose ‘La Cantire’, a fully organic, north-facing plot with schist soil. Grapes were harvested in the cool of the night (again for maximum freshness) and cool macerated on their skins for 12 hours. Once pressed, fermentation was carried out using yeasts naturally present on the grape skins. Unlike the richer style of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie (which is bottled in the Spring after harvest), Vendange Nocturne is bottled in early December with no lees ageing and is naturally lower in alcohol (11%). Pierre-Henri’s decision to name the variety - Melon Blanc - on the label means the wine can only be classified as a Vin de France, even though it originates from one of the best sites in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine.
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.
A note on Sustainability
Since 2018, the domaine has been in conversion to fully organic farming and is scheduled for formal ECOCERT certification in 2021. Furthermore, vats are cleaned without the use of chemicals, waste is sorted for recycling and Domaine de la Combe’s bottles are made from 100% recycled glass.
|Cultivar||100% Melon De Bourgogne|
11% alc vol
|Units of Alcohol per Bottle||8.25 units|
|Cellaring Potential||Awaiting Info|
|Allergen Information||Contains Sulphites|
|Food Matches||Hailing from the western Loire, this medium-bodied, fresh white wine pairs well with shellfish and seafood.|
|Appellation||Vin de France|