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For thirty years we have had the great pleasure of working with Jo Landron of the Domaine de la Louvetrie (now simply known as Domaines Landron) and of course enjoying his superb Muscadets on a regular basis. Jo is one of the heroes of Loire Valley viticulture and has been a leader in the resurgence of quality in Muscadet by his example of converting to organic agriculture, hand-harvesting, wild yeast fermentations and terroir specific, single-vineyard bottlings. His great work and engaging personality have been an inspiration to the region and have helped lead the way to the new Cru Communal classifications, finally bringing recognition to the potential of Muscadet.
We're proud to offer our favorite wines from this great estate, with a good supply available, so stock up now on these marvelous Muscadets, certified Organic by Ecocert and Biodynamic by Biodyvin.
2020 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine "Amphibolite" from 35 - 40 year-old vines on a terroir of amphibolite stones - a grey/green metamorphic rock from origins of Gabbro. The grapes are hand-harvested and ferment with wild yeasts with no chaptalizarion, yielding alcohol levels normally between 11 - 12%. "The wine presents elegant aromas mixing white flowers and fresh lemon. The palate has firm acidity with focused white fruits. Underscored by saline minerality, this Muscadet reveals the intimate harmony of grape and terroir bringing a subtle and vibrant energy - it excites the palate like a water made from stone..." (OK a bad translatiion but you get the idea...)
2019 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine "Les Houx" has always been a big favorite at Chambers Street, formerly labeled "Hermine d'Or," now named after the vineyard which is near the "Fief du Breil" - a great parcel of thin sandy clay soils, rich with silica, quartz and iron, over a bedrock of gneiss and clay. 2019 is a great vintage for "les Houx" - it's a beautiful wine and a great value, cellar for a few years if possible.. (The pronounciation is a little difficult, you know the French - sounds like "Layzooh")
2019 Vin de France "Melonix" (Melon of Asterix!) "This is the Rebel of the Domaine" say the Landrons, harvested for peak ripeness and the malo is allowed to occur, giving a wine with a round, supple palate with floral and white fruit flavors...just delicious in 2019.
2017 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine "Le Fief du Breil" This is one of the greatest of Muscadet, from a beautiful walled vineyard sloping towards the Sèvre, with clay, sand and quartz stones over a bedrock of orthogneiss. The vines average 40 to 50 years of age, the vineyard is certified organic and biodynamic and gives very low yields. In the dense and well-strctured 2017 vintage the wine was aged 30 months sur-lie. Brilliant as a young wine but perhaps best at 10 to 15 years of age.
NV Brut "Atmosphères" Vin Mousseu de Qualite Jo Landron's vivacious "Atmospheres" is made with organic Folle Blanche (aka Gros Plant) and Pinot Noir, hand harvested and fermented with wild yeasts. It's a Methode Traditionelle (Champagne method) that's very dry and refreshing, with lively aromas of pear, citrus and red currant. The palate is vibrant and fresh with flavors of pear, quince, citrus and brioche. It's a delicious aperitif and will pair well with oysters, salmon, crudites and charcuterie.
Domaine Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
Domaine Luneau-Papin was born from two winemaking families with histories going back to the 17th century. Now directed by Pierre-Marie and Marie Luneau-Papin, the estate has converted to organic and Biodynamic agriculture and is producing a wide range of superb Muscadet. The 2020 "Terre de Pierre" is an extraordinary wine coming from an extraordinary site high on a dramatic dome of igneous rock with quartz stones and serpentine minerals overlooking the marshes of Goulaine. This is perhaps the most scintillating and mineral of all the Luneau-Papin wines and begs to be served with oysters or a simple grilled fish, but aging for ten to 15 years is highly recommend as well. The 2019 Vera Cruz" is from 45 year-old vines in a vineyard of schistes and gneiss "a deux micas" in Vallet. There is more density and ripeness here, due the warm dry conditions of this excellent vintage for Loire whites, but the wine shows equally fascinating earth and mineral components from this great terroir. It's drinking beautifully now and over the next five to ten years.
Domaine de la Pépière - Finally Arrived: 2019 Clisson, 2020 Briords and 2017 Ch. Thébaud!
The wines have finally arrived in the importer's warehouse and we have confirmed additional quantities of each wine: 8 cases of 2019 Clisson, 5 cs of 2020 Briords and 5 cases (perhaps more) of the beautiful 2017 Chateau Thébaud. Those who missed the first offer should grab some of these extraordinary Muscadets before they're gone...
Special Offer - The 2020 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine "Les Gras Moutons"
The Pépière "Gras Moutons" has become a favorite of Muscadet fans since it first appeared in 2009. This lovely wine clearly illustrates the difference between the granite and gneiss terroirs in Muscadet. Gras Moutons is a great parcel on gneiss, in layers that permit a deep penetration by the vines, with sandy clay and amphibolite stones. The vines are at the top of a hill and on the south-facing slope overlooking the Maine. (The name, by the way, does not refer to fat sheep, but rather in local dialect, to the hilltop vineyard site.) This terroir produces lovely, classic Muscadet to drink over 5 to 8 years. Gras Moutons has a more herbal and floral bouquet than the granite-based wines and the palate, although refreshing and bright, is softer and more open. Yields were down in 2020 - a vintage that shows a bit more brightness and acidity than the very ripe 2019 - and most of the 2021 vintage was lost to frost. Thus we're getting one-half of our usual allocation. For those who love "Les Gras Moutons" we're offering a limited number of cases at $245 net per case (per bottle will be a whopping $23.99) for arrival in late March. Thank you Marc, Remi and Gwenaelle!
(With the exception of the 2020 Gras Moutons, all wines arrive week of Feb 14th, normal 10% case or mixed case discount applies.)
(Arrives 5/3) A great Muscadet by Jo Landron coming from an organic/biodynamic vineyard on clay and sand over a sub-soil of gneiss, rich in iron and quartz and quite high in acidity. Kept on the lees for 12 months. In the glass, this white is a clear lemon in color. Aromatically defined by bright mineral stoniness, softened by smells of flowers and herbs. A richer, more concentrated core of yellow stone fruit develops as the wine gets some air. Lean, but not weak. On the palate, mild flavors of cured lemon and apricot are accented by a hit of salinity, all culminating in a simple, precise finish of anise and flint. Lovely acid and a tender mouthfeel drives the structure. This will drink well young, with grilled or steamed fish and shellfish but also with crab, langoustines and lobster, especially after a few years of aging. Did we say that the price is ridiculously, even embarrassingly low, as Landron's great work deserves a much higher price...
(Arrives 5/24) This fascinating wine is from a parcel of 50 year-old vines on La Butte de la Roche, a dramatic dome of igneous rock with quartz stones and serpentine minerals overlooking the marshes of Goulaine. Pierre-Marie Luneau is in charge here and is doing great organic /biodynamic vineyard work, reclaiming this wonderful site with vines planted in 1974. The serpentine rock creates a very poor soil, giving wines that are normally somewhat austere and marked by intense minerality the 2020 was enhanced by aging of 14 months on the lees, with bottling in November of 2021. The 2020 "Terre de Pierre" is bright and crystalline with citrus aromas and hints of stone and dried herbs. The palate is elegant and crisp with firm saline acidity, with pear, almond and citrus flavors, and the terroir kicks in nicely with intense mineral notes and firm acidity that tingles the palate. The finish is long and scintillating with subtle white fruits and minerals. Serve this lovely Muscadet now with shellfish, cod and sole, seared scallops, or cellar for 10 to 15 years. David Lillie
Vera Cruz is a new cuvée from Luneau-Papin, from 45 year-old vines on a terroir of schistes and gneiss "a deux micas" in Vallet, farmed with certified organic and biodynamic methods. A wine of terroir rather than fruit, even in the ripe 2019 vintage, the wine shows elegant aromas of pear, grilled almond, stone and citrus. The palate is dense and very mineral, showing more flavor of earth than fruit, with a lovely finish of stone, minerals and white fruit that coats the palate - really a superb combination of density and minerality. Perfect now with fine oysters, grilled dorade, sole, cod and seared scallops. Or cellar - this wine should be very interesting in 5 to 10 years. Label inspired by Mondrian and the varied terroirs of Muscadet. DL
(Finally, our 2nd delivery has arrived, about 5 more cases are available) Beginning in 2005, Domaine de la Pépière has produced this cuvée from a small parcel of 50 to 110 year-old vines within the Pepiere vineyard. Originally called "Granite de Clisson" after the unique bedrock in the vineyard, Marc has changed the name to "Clisson" to agree with the new INAO Cru Communal classification. The granite is covered with gravel and clay with large stones, ensuring good drainage and deep penetration by the roots into the fissures in the bedrock, bringing the mineral elements indispensable to this wine. This note from Gwénaëlle Croix of Pépière: "We bottled the 2019 Clisson in November of 2021, after two years aging on the lies, as we always do. It comes from a hot, sunny vintage, thus the alcohol percentage is relatively high at 13.5%, but one really doesn't sense it. The palate is full and framed in very firm acidity and citrus flavors, with a slight touch of smokiness (un petit côté fumé)." The Pépière Clisson is always one of the most elegant, silky and ethereal of all Muscadet - don't miss it!
(Arrives 5/24) The Domaine de la Pépière Cru Communal Château Thébaud comes from old vines in vineyards with great terroir on slopes overlooking the river Maine. The granite here (Granite de Château Thébaud, oddly enough) is fissured and permeable by the vine roots which have access to water during dry spells and absorb micro-nutrients along the way. 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 here were among the best of the vintage in Muscadet and the 2017 will stand out as well due to the combination of density and minerality with the very firm acidity of this very good vintage year for Muscadet - those of you lucky enough to have the 2014 in your cellar understand just what a special wine this is. Notes from Remi Branger: "For the Château Thébaud 2017 - we harvested on the 2nd of September and did a longer elevage - 3 and 1/2 years sur lie, and we bottled it in the spring of 2021. We had thought to do a 4 year elevage but we realized that the exchange between the lies and the wine was occuring faster than usual. We have a beautiful Château Thébaud with aromas of white flowers and a touch of white peach; on the palate the density and power arrive in the finish which is less structured than the 2014 but is more structured and brighter than the 2015." The 2014 Château Thébaud is one of my favorite Muscadet, though it needs 5 more years to really open up, and the 2017 is not far behind - perhaps a bit more precocious, thus beautiful to drink now or to age for 20 years. David Lillie
Amphibolite - a metamorphic stone generally formed from gabbro or basalt, with a high concentration of iron and magnesium, prevalent in the vineyard, over a bedrock of gneiss. The wine from this vineyard is low in alcohol (11.2%) and high in acidity and mineral salts. Bottled after 4 months sur-lie aging and retaining a bit of CO2 from the fermentation, the Cuvée Amphibolite is refreshing, stimulating and a perfect complement to shellfish and light seafood dishes. In 2020 the wine is lovely, with subtle aromas of ripe citrus confit, almond, pear and granny smith; the palate is bone dry but round and refeshing with stone and white fruits, showing a bit more density and alcohol than normal. Enjoy over the next 12 months with some Wellfleet oysters or any mildly flavored fish, even roast chicken. David Lillie
Melonix is a 'vin de table' from 30+ year old organically tended Melon de Bourgogne vines. Jo Landron and his team harvest by hand, ferment with indigenous yeast, and produce this wine without filtration or added sulfur during vinificatiion. (A small dosage is added before bottling) Lovely aromatics, with subtle mineral notes and Chablis-like, dense stone fruit. This is definitely a bit fatter than some of Landron's other wines, expressing some creamy lemon character, but maintaining a clean mineral finish. It's a real joy to drink and remarkably pure for a wine with minimal sulfur.
Jo Landron's Fief du Breil is from a beautiful walled vineyard sloping towards the Sèvre, with clay, sand and quartz stones over a bedrock of orthogneiss. The vines average 40 to 50 years of age, the vineyard is certified organic and biodynamic and gives very low yields. In the dense and well-strctured 2017 vintage the wine was aged 30 months sur-lie. This beautiful Muscadet needs aeration or decanting, then shows aromas of grapefruit skin, pear, lime-flower, candied citrus and almond. The palate is perfectly balanced and intensely mineral - showing ripe white fruits, almond, anise and stone flavors with firm acidity and pronounced flavors of stone and saline mineral. This is a bit more forward than the granite-based wines - really superb as a young wine served with shellfish, grilled fish and white meats. As usual with great Muscadet it will age beautifully and pair with monkfish, lobster and aged goat cheeses. Very little was imported, don't miss it! David Lillie
Jo Landron's crystalline "Atmospheres" is made with roughly equal amounts of organic Folle Blanche, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, hand harvested and fermented with wild yeasts. It's a Methode Traditionelle (Champagne method) that's very dry , refreshing and ethereal. Delicate aromas of citrus, pears and sea spray. The palate is vibrant and fresh with flavors of citrus and wet rocks and sea spray. It's a delicious aperitif and will pair well with oysters, salmon, crudites and charcuterie. (2019 vintage, disgorged October 1, 2021.) GH
(Late March arrival) This lovely wine clearly illustrates the difference between the granite and gneiss terroirs in Muscadet. Gras Moutons is a great parcel on gneiss, in layers that permit a deep penetration by the vines, with sandy clay and amphibolite stones. The vines are at the top of a hill and on the south-facing slope overlooking the Maine. (The name, by the way, does not refer to fat sheep, but rather in local dialect, to the hilltop vineyard site.) This terroir produces lovely, classic Muscadet to drink over the next 5 to 8 years, it has a more herbal and floral bouquet than the granite-based wines and the palate, although refreshing and bright, is softer and more open.
(The importer now promises 5 more cases Just arrived in NY) First produced in 1988, this great Muscadet is made from a three hectare parcel of old massale-selection vines (all over 60 years old, with a high percentage much older) on a slope above the Maine. The bedrock is Granite de Château Thébaud, a fissured rock that allows the vines to penetrate deeply, with ideal thin topsoils of clay, with sand and gravel allowing good drainage. Some notes on the 2020 from Rémi Branger: "The harvest in 2020 was very early as the vintage was quite ahead of schedule. We began the overall harvest on the 24th of August (this year we'll start around Sept 15th) and picked the Briords quite early - we wanted to keep the freshness and acidity as the maturity was advancing rapidly. We bottled Briords in May as usual - we have in 2020 more freshness and tension than in 2018 and 2019 with the slight bitterness that we like a bit more present. "As Rémi says "more freshness and tenson" in this wine which makes it a great candidate for aging and we found that decanting or opening well in advance is called for if enjoying now. Best perhaps 2024 - 2040. David Lillie