Famille Lieubeau, 2020 Update

I bring this year’s round of Muscadet reports to an end by coming full circle, returning to the wines of Famille Lieubeau. In December 2019, back when the world was a very different (and easier) place, I asked François and Vincent Lieubeau if I could call in on them at their domaine. Finding a mutually agreeable time to meet up with the dynamic duo proved rather difficult though; I had only one day in Muscadet in my schedule but the family would be hosting a team from Bollinger, who were coming to immerse themselves in all things Muscadet, on the day in question. I thought about tagging along at the back but decided against it, choosing to visit Rémi Branger at Domaine de la Pépière instead.

Then everything changed; even through I am writing this only a few months on I forget, thinking back to the pre-Covid-19 era, exactly what the problem was. I think there was a national strike; I recall the gilets jaunes were out in force, exercising their droits, presumably set out in 1789, to light bonfires on roundabouts. Whatever the reason was, many flights (including mine) were cancelled. The TGV suffered the same fate, and the Bollinger team had to call off their visit. Suddenly we all had more time (three days more in my case), and the Lieubeau brothers (pictured below) graciously spent the best part of a day showing me round their various vineyards and domaines.

Famille Lieubeau

I wrote up that visit in a report with my tasting notes on the most recent releases, followed by notes and scores from an impressive vertical tasting of Château-Thébaud, featuring vintages from 2018 back to 2001. In the process of writing those reports, however, I overlooked a batch of later tasting notes, jotted down when François, Vincent and I reconvened in London the following month. I report on these previously forgotten wines here, in what is the last of this season’s Muscadet vignettes before I move on to projects new.

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