Famille Lieubeau, 2021 Update
My office (if I can call it that, it serves many purposes) is currently piled high with boxes of samples of 2020 Bordeaux, with new deliveries arriving on a daily basis, nevertheless the Loire Valley shall not be overlooked. Over the course of the next few months I shall be reporting on tastings of recent releases and occasionally older vintages from a number of the region’s leading domaines, and somewhere along the way I will be publishing a vintage report and tasting for the 2020 vintage. Perhaps a little later than is usual, but is there anything that isn’t happening a little later than usual at the moment?
I start here with the wines of Famille Lieubeau, down in Muscadet (well, where else would I start?). The domaine is now run by the siblings Vincent, François and Marie. They clearly have great energy, focus and a strong vision for the domaine; although they have put many changes in place since assuming control, the ongoing conversion to certified organic viticulture is a key indicator of their commitment.
On this occasion I was able to check out four releases from 2020, a valuable first look at the vintage, and the most recent bottlings of the family’s principal crus communaux wines, these being the 2016 Château-Thébaud and the 2018 Clisson (they are also working in the Goulaine cru, although this was not tasted here). Kicking off with the 2020 Voyage Extraordinaire, this is a brilliantly packaged early-release Muscadet, already in bottle (under a DIAM 1 closure, a commendable choice), and destined for the wine bars and restaurants of Nantes. Restaurants…remember them? I am tempted to book a flight down to Nantes now just so I can drink this with some Cancale oysters, maybe in Lulu Rouget or L’Atlantide 1874.