Famille Lieubeau, 2017 Update

Over the past few years I have enjoyed looking beyond the ‘obvious’ ports of call in Muscadet to seek out less familiar domaines, up-and-coming names and young vignerons making a difference. Without a doubt one of the most striking discoveries has been the Lieubeau family, who are based in Château-Thébaud, at the heart of one of the regions leading crus communaux.

The Lieubeau siblings, François, Vincent and Marie are taking over from parents Pierre and Chantal, and are pushing quality here to new heights. Although the domaine is large (about 75 hectares all told, large even for Muscadet) they have recently committed to organics, a massive undertaking with such a huge spread of vineyards, scattered across numerous parcels. The size of the vineyard necessitates a staged approach, with about one-quarter of the vineyard currently in conversion. Vincent and company decided to begin with the crus communaux vineyards, which are now in their second year of organic farming (certification comes after three years).

Famille Lieubeau

The Lieubeau family have vines in two crus communaux, Clisson and Château-Thébaud, although more recent additions to the portfolio have been closer to the entry level than these flagship cuvées. These include the Confluent cuvée and Voyage Extraordinaire, the latter an extraordinary bistro Muscadet for casual drinking I hope one day to find on the list of my local oyster bar (if I had one). Lastly, this domaine has been a great discovery not purely because the wines are of such clear quality, but because every tasting with Vincent Lieubeau is like a mad-science Muscadet-making masterclass. As may well become apparent from this report on the latest vintage, and my latest tasting of their wines.

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