After six years of viticulture and enology school, Alexandre Derame took over his family's estate in the late 1990s. Immediately he wanted to expand beyond his familial vineyards at Domaine du Moulin and so began the search for his place. During the dig, he came across an exciting vineyard for sale with an illustrious vinous history—Clos des Roches Gaudinières which he then purchased from Michel Chiron, a retired vigneron.
Alexandre Derame's three hectares in Clos des Roches Gaudinières labeled under Les Roches Gaudinières Vieille Vignes are inside Mouzillon-Tillières, on the eastern side of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, and grown on slightly acidic soils of hard bedrock composed of gabbro ( a pale green and black intrusive igneous rock developed through slow cooling of basaltic magma under the earth's surface), and clay-rich topsoil at an average of eighty centimeters topsoil depth. The vines are a mix of massale selections and old biotypes, with three-quarters from 80-year-old vines and the rest being fifty years old. This magnesium and iron-rich rock, the clay-rich and rocky topsoil, the old vines, and their naturally low yields impart a dense power to its wines and a love for the cellar where they require a few years to brush off the youthful austerity. Alexandre ages it in the tank for three to five years, followed by at least two years in the bottle before release. It has tremendous aging potential, demonstrated through many old vintages and the surprising freshness it maintains after many years.
This is an incredible aged Muscadet that served blind could be called a Premier Cru Chablis. Mellowed by the extended lees contact, this doesn't have the piercing acidity that many young Muscasdets can possess. Instead, this wine has a super seductive charm with uncanny complexity and precision seldom seen in Muscadet. Aromas of citrus skins, saline, minerals, and a savory component chiseled in a dense core of liquid rocks. The palate is ample and pure with incredible balance, minerality, saline, yellow fruits, and excellent lift from the acidity. Amazing juice and a real eye-opener for the heights Muscadet can achieve in the right hands, Bravo!