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Pierre Luneau-Papin, 2009 Update

The 2009 Salon des Vins de Loire was my first chance to meet the next generation at this domaine, which until now I have always associated with Pierre Luneau-Papin (pictured below) and his wife, Monique. Pierre-Marie Luneau, their son, has been working with his parents on the family domaine since 2005. That was not the only novel experience at this meeting though; there were new encounters of a more vinous nature. I must admit to not being familiar with Luneau-Papin’s newest cuvée, the Semper Excelsior Clos des Noëlles (often abbreviated to Excelsior), even though it was introduced as long ago as the 2001 vintage.

Pierre Luneau-Papin

Pierre-Marie talked and poured, and I tasted three vintages, each one rich, broad and characterful, although I must confess in the two vintages where I also tasted the corresponding Cuvée Le L d’Or I preferred the taut minerality of the latter. Also, although I am well aware of the cellaring potential of Le L d’Or, having tasted examples from the 1990s and from the latter years of the 1980s, my experience had never before included the 1982. At 27 years of age this example of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, sur lie naturally, was wonderfully on form; expressive, with notes of mineral honeycomb on the nose, a dense and concentrated character on the palate, and a fabulous length. This bottle completely flummoxed a group of French sommeliers who were tasting alongside me; I just found it to be delightful.

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