Pierre Luneau-Papin, 2017 Update

I have tasted a lot of Muscadet so far this year. So what’s new, you might ask? Well, I have tasted even more than is usual. I have revisited favourite domaines so that I can get to grips with the latest releases (as well as a few older vintages, if the opportunity was there), and I have also tasted at some domaines for the first time. Some of these I have had on my ‘must visit’ list for some time, while others were less familiar names which I encountered more by chance than by design. In addition, last week I took part in an exciting panel tasting of long lees-aged Muscadets (all the wines had been aged at least 18 months on the lees, some for a lot, lot longer) for Decanter magazine. If I were to have a blood test I am sure it would reveal that right now I am at least 20% Melon de Bourgogne.

Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin
The upshot of this is that I have a renewed and refreshed view of the region; who is doing really well, who is over-performing, who is on the up and by dint who is on the way down. And although this is not anything I have not said before, Domaine Luneau-Papin remains pre-eminent in the region, for several regions. First, the range of wines remains broad and convincing, with wines of real interest at every level, from vins de pringtemps destined to be drunk in the bars of Nantes in the next few months, to the long lees-aged granite, schist and serpentinite cuvées destined for the cellar.

Secondly the portfolio seems to be in a constant state of evolution at the moment. The addition of the Terre de Pierre cuvée at the top end a few years ago was followed more recently by new cuvées closer to the entry level, in particular Froggy, Le Verger and Vera Cruz. And thirdly, although it has not been tested in recent years, this is a domaine that makes good wine not just in the easy years, but in the difficult ones too. I will never forget the wines Pierre Luneau-Papin made in 2011, drinkable and even desirable wines, in a vintage when the vast majority were tainted with rot.

Now largely under the direction of Pierre’s son Pierre-Marie Luneau and his wife Marie, the domaine continues to go from strength to strength. Indeed, this is the first year I visited the Salon des Vins de Loire and did not clap eyes on Pierre Luneau-Papin during the entire three days. The next generation have very certainly taken the reins here.

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