Famille Lieubeau, 2016 Update
As my understanding of Muscadet has increased over the years I have become aware of many domaines beyond the famous names that are worthy of our interest. It isn’t hard to pick out domaines such as Domaine de l’Ecu, Pierre Luneau-Papin or Jo Landron as sources of quality; look back to see what was being written about this region twenty years ago and you find these names cropping up with reliable regularity. These names aren’t new to the world of wine. What is perhaps more challenging is identifying other as yet unsung domaines, or up-and-coming domaines.
Famille Lieubeau is just such a domaine. Well, perhaps ‘domaine’ isn’t quite the correct word. In truth this is a Muscadet empire comprised of at least four estates (last time I stopped to count), an arrangement that is far from rare in the region. The reasons for this are many and rather obvious; first and foremost, a vigneron working in a region where most bottles sell for a pittance needs a large domaine to maintain profitability. Secondly, vineyard land is relatively cheap, and so it is not too difficult to build up a large domaine, or collection of domaines. Thirdly, historically there has been no shortage of land and estates to buy, either through bankruptcy (seen as recently as the financially disastrous 2008 vintage, after which the tended vineyard area lost about 5,000 hectares) or the unwillingness of the next generation to take on the family business.Please log in to continue reading: