Domaine Landron-Chartier, 2018 Update

Domaine Landron-Chartier is home to Benoît Landron, the nephew of Jo Landron. Whereas Jo made his name in the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation, his brother’s son has settled on the opposite bank of the Loire, upstream of Nantes, in the Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire and Coteaux d’Ancenis appellations. This in itself is perhaps enough to ensure his wines are intrinsically different to those of his marvellously moustachioed uncle. For one thing, the wines of the Coteaux de la Loire never seem to display quite the same definition and harmony that we see in the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine appellation. And secondly, here we also have the diversity of the Coteaux d’Ancenis, which also gives us wines made from Gamay and Malvoisie, the latter a variety which will seem immediately more familiar if I call it by its other name, Pinot Gris.

Domaine Landron-Chartier

There are other reasons beyond mere appellation and variety, though, to explain why Benoît’s wines might seem so distinctive. The third influencing factor is that Benoît (pictured above) adheres to some very unorthodox practices in the cellar. He has a very non-interventional approach, starting with minimal use of sulphites; for his large-volume cuvées the dose is about 15 mg/l, while for the smaller-volume single-vineyard wines the sulphite level is often less than 5 mg/l. Even the first of these two figures is very low, the second hardly seems worth it, and the result is an array of unusual and quite funky aromas and flavours in some of the wines. And, when it comes to his reds, a number of the cuvées also see very prolonged periods of skin contact, up to seven weeks in the case of the 2015 Les Clefs, which tends to produce a rather rustic thrust of tannins on the palate, supporting what is often a rather pretty and perfumed nose.

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