Pierre Luneau-Papin, 2016 Update

After tasting the usual quartet of brut de cuve samples from the 2015 vintage, which showed a stunning contradiction of fleshy fruit purity and vibrant acidity and mineral definition, (I have already published these notes in my Muscadet 2015 report, and also in my Luneau-Papin profile) I moved onto the 2014 vintage. The two vintages provide a very obvious contrast, the richness of 2015 set against the more tense energy of 2014.

Pierre Luneau-Papin

The Wines

I tasted the wines with Pierre-Marie Luneau, although it was Pierre himself I kept bumping into during this trip to the Loire Valley, hence the photograph below. I kicked off with the 2014 La Folle Blanche, a very smart example of the style, brimming with saline, iodine and musky complexity, and on tasting it is easy to see why the locals in Nantais often opt for a Folle Blanche (which sounds so much more amenable than Gros Plant du Pays Nantais, I am sure you will agree) to wash down their oysters rather than a richer Melon de Bourgogne.

The portfolio in 2014 showcases very clearly a feature of Domaine Luneau-Papin, and that is consistency. There was very little to differentiate between the classic cuvées, and there was barely anything between these wines and those of the 2013 vintage tasted last year. This reflects, I think, the ability of this domaine to turn out exemplary wines in a more challenging vintage such as 2013 (an ability perhaps best exhibited by their fine achievements in the wonderful 2011 vintage) rather than any problem with the 2014 vintage. The 2014 Pierre de la Grange (from micaschist), previously known as the Pierre de la Grange Jeune Vignes, showed the pure white stone fruit of the vintage, plump and pithy. The 2014 La Grange Vieilles Vignes (micaschist again, the same terroir), previously known as Pierre de la Grange Vieilles Vignes, was a classic melding of ripe fruit, the creamed purity of the vintage and a musky detailing.

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