La Morandiere

Loire Valley, France

The Story

Straight out of six years of enology school, in Nantes, the humble Alexandre Déramé started running his family estate winery. It’s been over ten years now and he has single-handedly brought the estate to a newly respected level. Although his production in total is probably considered “medium sized”, his yields are amongst the lowest in Muscadet and his “Vieille Vignes” production is miniscule. His wife and mother help with simple things but Alexandre is pretty much a one-man show with one vineyard employee. The first time we tasted his wines we were surprised that a producer of this quality had not been snapped up long ago, especially after tasting some old wines that have just recently been put on the market from his earliest bottlings. His latest venture is converting his vineyards to organic farming.

Lay of the Land

Morandière is a tiny commune in the gentle rolling hills in the region named after the village, Mouzillon, one of the most highly regarded villages in the appellation, Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine. Morandière holds two estates, one being the family estate holding the village namesake La Morandière, and the other being a historical estate with tremendous old vines holdings on a very special terroir, Les Roches des Gaudinières. This estate was purchased years ago and they kept the name because of its historical relevance to the region.  Mouzillon is distinctive for its soils high in concentration of gabbro, a metallic-flecked, pale green and black, hard igneous rock developed through slow cooling of basaltic magma under the earth’s surface. It’s mixed with a loamy soil and orange-colored silex and quartz-like rocks. It is a very unique place that gifts the wines with tremendous power and tension.