Domaine des Trois Toits

Hubert Rousseau (2010) Rousseau-Muscadet
History of DomaineWinesTech SheetGalleryLabel s
One of our very first suppliers, Lucien Pauvert the owner of Domaine de la Borne situated just south of Nantes in the district of La Louée, retired after the 2005 vintage. We had known of Pauvert’s plans for quite some time as he struggled to find a young vigneron to take command of his vineyards, the first to come into view as one leaves the growing city of Nantes in a southerly direction. Failing in this endeavor, Pauvert began to sell off his valuable vineyard property, progenitor of “true” Muscadet, the stony, pierre-a-fusil Muscadet drawn directly from the lies each spring rather than the forced, fruity juice of the modern day. We have lived with this mineral-driven style for over 25 years and we despaired of losing access to what is truly a classic, underappreciated wine. So, we enlisted Pauvert in our search for a complementary grower and, voila, one of his neighbors, Hubert Rousseau pops up to purchase 3 hectare of vineyards; we tasted through a series of cuvées produced at this lovely domaine in the sector known as “La Nicoliere” (just around the corner from Pauvert’s domaine in La Louée), and we came away convinced that we had found our Muscadet savior. Our new association began with the 2004 vintage and continues with increasing satisfaction.

The Domaine des Trois Toits was built on the old foundation of an ancient abbey established there in the 17th century. The cave is built entirely of stone and its roof is marked by three peaks – thus its name: “Trois Toits” or three roofs. Hubert Rousseau’s holdings encompass twenty seven hectares and are divided into three plots: the “Clos de la Nicoliere” (15 hectares), the Clos de la Louée (7 hectares) and the “Clos du Bézier” (5 hectares). The vineyards are well situated as they are each in the immediate proximity of the chai; they are also all within the confines of the village of Vertou which is the first commune devoted to the vine as one leaves the city of Nantes in a southerly direction. Vertou is traversed by the river “Sevre” which gives its name to the appellation: Muscadet de Sevre et Maine.

The major part of the vineyards (24 hectares) are planted to the Melon grape and produce the fine Muscadet of the domaine; there is also a hectare planted to La Folle Blanche from which Rousseau produces a small amount of Gros Plant; and there are two hectares planted to Gamay and Abouriou which produce a Vin de Pays.

The soil is dominated by Gneiss with the parcels in Louée and Bézier being particularly rocky and spare with the effect being small yields which result in powerful and structured wines; the soils of La Nicoliere are somewhat more generous and the wines from this site are usually more fruity and fine. Rousseau is a signatory to the charter of “lutte raisonnée” which obliges him to strictly respect the environment and severely restricts the treatments in the vineyards.

Rousseau-Muscadet Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Tiré sur Lie: After harvest the grapes are pressed and the juice is placed in underground cuves in typical and ancient fashion in the Muscadet district. The alcoholic fermentation proceeds at low temperatures for three to five weeks. Afterwards the wine is racked off the gross lies and is left to age on the fine lies until bottling. During the period of elevage, the wines are in constant contact with the lies, with frequent batonage. The result is a fresh, mineral-driven wine that occasionally carries an almost imperceptible effervescence. Bottling normally occurs during the period of March through May of the year following harvest.
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